MEVAfest 2016, at the MB Legislative Bldg., MB Hydro employees proudly display Canada’s largest plugin hybrid-electric boom truck.
For the past two years, Manitoba Hydro and BC Hydro have been operating plugin hybrid-electric bucket trucks in an Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) program to promote the use of large PHEVs by utilities and municipalities in the United States and Canada. Manitoba Hydro has the bigger bucket truck. It’s an Altec AM55, class 7, plugin hybrid-electric vehicle (PHEV) – the largest of its kind in Canada! The 55 foot extended boom truck was converted by Wisconsin-based Odyne Systems, a leading manufacturer of hybrid systems for medium- and heavy-duty trucks.
It’s powered by two 14.2 kWh Johnson Controls lithium-ion battery packs. After driving 48 kms, this hybrid-diesel-electric truck has enough electricity left in the battery (85%) to quietly operate its boom for approximately 4 hours. If, on a busy day, the truck consumes 25 kWh of electricity at $0.072 per kWh, recharging the truck costs less than $2. The batteries are also recharged by a launch assist and regenerative braking, which captures up to 40kW of energy. (Before the truck was converted to hybrid-electric power, that energy would have been lost as heat.) In addition to savings accrued through the reduced consumption of diesel fuel, it’s estimated that, on average, this plugin hybrid-electric vehicle will save MB Hydro $2,000.00 per year in reduced maintenance costs.
Manitoba Hydro says, “Electric vehicles (EVs) are a great fit in Manitoba and have many benefits,” and, by using this plugin truck, some of the utility’s employees are proving that’s true.
Manitoba Hydro is a member of the Manitoba Electric Vehicle Association (MEVA). MEVA members are very happy that MB Hydro is leading utility companies across the country in this very important EPRI program. We look forward to more forward-thinking programs and policies from the very capable staff at Manitoba’s largest energy company.