Technology Offers Glimpse Into the Future of Fuel-Conscious Fleets
DALLAS, May 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The first hybrid diesel-electric bucket truck in North Texas looks and works like a normal utility bucket truck, but it runs on up to 60 percent less fuel. The fuel-efficient "cherry picker" will join the TXU Electric Delivery fleet on Wednesday, May 17, in Dallas where it will be based. TXU Electric Delivery's first hybrid bucket truck will be one of only 24 operating in North America.
"Fuel and energy costs are among the top concerns of Americans today, and through this pilot program, TXU Electric Delivery is proud to be taking action that can make a difference," said Rob Trimble, president and chief operating officer, TXU Electric Delivery.
The hybrid vehicle, which will be used along with other bucket trucks for the maintenance and repair of overhead electric lines in selected parts of the company's system during the next two years, is part of a pilot program to develop technology that saves fuel and reduces emissions. Results of the program will be incorporated by truck manufacturers and technology companies that are moving forward to offer the trucks commercially.
"We are proud to be one of only 14 utilities across the country taking part in this pilot program," said Trimble. "Businesses and individuals both need to pitch in if we are going to save fuel and solve the problem of higher energy costs. In that spirit, TXU Electric Delivery is pleased to offer this glimpse at utility fleets of the future."
With fuel savings of 40 to 60 percent over conventional bucket trucks, which initial tests indicate, this hybrid model can achieve annual savings of up to $4,500 at today's fuel prices. It also offers the benefit of reduced maintenance.
On the road, the truck runs on an efficient combination of bio-diesel and battery power. At job sites, the utility bucket can operate for up to two hours on the battery charge, without the engine idling that is necessary with conventional bucket trucks. The result is fuel savings, along with reduced emissions and less noise in neighborhoods where service restoration is underway.
For the past six years, TXU Electric Delivery has been doing its part for fuel economy by using bio-diesel that is 20 percent vegetable oil in 300 of its largest fleet trucks. When not on battery power, this hybrid bucket truck will use the same type of bio-diesel.
The hybrid truck was manufactured by International Truck and Engine Corp., in partnership with Eaton Corp. The national pilot program is administered by WestStart-CALSTART, the nation's leading industry organization for advanced transportation technology.
TXU Electric Delivery Company, a subsidiary of TXU Corp. , provides power to more than three million electric delivery points over more than 100,000 miles of distribution and 14,000 miles of transmission lines. Information about TXU Electric Delivery can be obtained by going directly to http://www.txuelectricdelivery.com/ .