VW settlement pays for all-electric bucket truck

VW Settlement Grant through State of Vermont covers most cost of Green Mountain Power’s purchase of an all-electric bucket truck

Green Mountain Power will replace two heavy-duty fossil-fuel field operations trucks with two all-electric trucks manufactured by Lion Electric in 2022 – a fully outfitted bucket truck for line crews and a Class 6 stake-body truck for electrical maintenance field crews.

The two trucks are expected to offset up to 100 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.

GMP is among the first utilities in New England to receive all-electric heavy-duty trucks for its fleet.  This move is the latest step GMP has already taken to cut carbon in its fleet, including using clean B20 biodiesel in almost all trucks for many years, and incorporating fully electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicles into other aspects of its fleet.  

GMP received about a $915,000 grant through the VW settlement fund managed by the Agency of Natural Resources, and will collect data about the trucks’ use, performance, charging, and carbon reduction to help the state learn more about the opportunities electric trucks offer the state in reaching clean energy goals.

“Reducing public exposure to diesel emissions is an ongoing challenge,” said Peter Walke, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation.  “This project reduces both criteria air pollutants and greenhouse gases, moving Vermont closer to meeting our GHG emissions reduction goals, and supporting our electrification goals for the medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sector.”

Lion Electric – a North American manufacturer of medium- and heavy-duty zero-emission vehicles – will manufacture the trucks to order, with the first truck expected to be delivered to GMP in the first quarter of 2022, and the second one scheduled to arrive next summer.  

Because there is no combustion engine, like all EVs, there are savings on maintenance and fuel – reducing maintenance costs by up to 60 percent, and energy costs by up to 80 percent. Additionally, the bucket truck and its auxiliary systems run entirely off the vehicle’s battery pack, eliminating emissions and noise pollution. The line truck has a range of 130 miles, and the stake truck can go 200 miles on a charge. 

The grant will also help customers through the purchase of two bi-directional fast chargers for the trucks. This provides charging convenience, plus the chargers’ two-way energy flow means when the trucks are plugged in and not in use, GMP can tap into the stored energy in their batteries during peak energy use times on the grid. This helps reduce demand and costs when energy is most expensive for customers.

The two vehicle-to-grid (V2G) chargers are expected to generate more than $135,000 in savings for customers, building on GMP’s earlier work with V2G, using stored energy in a Nissan Leaf for peak energy reduction.

Green Mountain Power (GMP) serves approximately 266,000 residential and business customers in Vermont.

Categories: Energy

4 replies »

  1. Big cities still pouring sewage into Lake Champlain but we spend the money from VW on an experimental truck that has the operating range of a go cart. I wonder how the driver and crew will stay warm when it is -20 this winter.

    • Yep, the same government that will come down hard on even compliant homes and camps on the lake seems all but oblivious to municipalities dumping millions of gallons of raw sewage into the lake. But, hey, that’s okay because it’s government doing it.
      The trucks, though, are designed and have been in-use in Quebec for a few years so they’re supposedly cold weather proven. I hope so, a tired, wet, and cold lineman isn’t going to be tolerant of an inferior truck.

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