A Plug-In Hybrid Class 5 Work Truck and a Class 5 Bucket Truck:
One with 120kW Exportable Power, Other with All-Electric Topside
Pacific Gas and Electric Company and Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. is unveiling two new Class 5 plug-in hybrid electric trucks at EDI headquarters in Dixon, Calif. this morning. The EDI work truck, based on a Ford F-550 chassis, features 120 kilowatts of exportable power that can be used to shorten or eliminate planned and unplanned outages.
The new PG&E bucket truck, also based on the F-550, was developed with Altec Industries, which has a plant in Dixon too. It features Altec’s electric worksite management system, which allows all onboard equipment including the boom, climate control and tools to be operated off of battery power, eliminating the need to idle the engines of the trucks while at job sites.
Both vehicles boast- an all-electric range of approximately 30 miles and are expected to reduce emissions by up to 80% when compared to conventional fuel vehicles. PG&E estimates that each of the EDI trucks will save the utility more than 850 gallons of fuel per year.
EDI has retained the Ford vehicles’ factory 6.7-liter diesel engine and has installed a proprietary drivetrain that includes twin 20-kilowatt-hour, liquid-cooled, PP320-689-B Vigor+ brand lithium ion battery packs from EnerDel.
Up to 500 Horsepower
EDI offers a four-mode, series-parallel hybrid capability which according to PG&E maximizes fuel efficiency without sacrificing performance. “With up to 500 horsepower available in parallel mode, the new truck has more power than conventional PG&E work trucks and can reach highway speeds of 65 mph in full electric vehicle mode,” the utility says.
PG&E currently operates nearly 1,000 Class 5 vehicles, the majority of which are trouble trucks or bucket trucks, “the company’s workhorses.”
“In typical day-to-day operations,” the utility says, “the EDI vehicles will reduce emissions by up to 80% and improve fuel economy by 30% when operated in hybrid mode, compared to conventional diesel trucks…
‘We’re In,’ Says PG&E’s Meisel
“If PG&E were to replace all class-5 vehicles in its fleet with the EDI units, emissions would be reduced by 9,000 metric tons and fuel savings would be nearly $4 million annually.
“We’re in,” PG&E transportation director Dave Meisel told F&F in Dixon this morning. The EDI trucks will allow new operational efficiencies for both maintenance with no service interruption, and disaster relief.
“We can power about 100 homes at the same time off of that vehicle,” he said.
“120’s not arbitrary. It’s a magic number for us,” Meisel said. “Last week we changed out a 75KV transformer, hot. That’s never been done before.”
“You’re seeing a level of enthusiasm and interest you’ve never seen before.” Meisel predicts a quick path from EDI’s prototype through beta and alpha models, leading to production. “We’ll have adoption of this one in really short order,” he said.
Altec opened its Dixon facility in 2012 due to the large volume of work for PG&E (F&F, April 25, 2012).
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Source: Fleets & Fuels at Altec-EDI-PG&E event in Dixon, Calif.