T&D World Magazine

Ameren Illinois Among First with Hybrid Bucket Truck

Illinois State Fair visitors will have an opportunity to get an up close look at the new Ameren Illinois Utilities hybrid bucket truck when they visit the Discovery "Green" Tent at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation World Aug. 8 through 17. The Ameren Illinois Utilities are among the nation's first utilities to take advantage of a bucket truck with the advanced hybrid technology.

"This hybrid bucket truck uses 30 to 50 percent less diesel fuel than a conventional truck. So even though the purchase price of this truck is about 35 percent higher than a conventional truck, it is anticipated that its operating efficiencies mean that it will cost less to operate over its life than a conventional truck," said Bill Preble, Ameren Illinois Utilities vice president of Regional Operations.

"Our new truck will be kinder to the environment, producing about 50 percent fewer smog-forming emissions and less greenhouse gases as compared to a conventional diesel truck," said Ron Pate, Ameren Illinois Utilities vice president of Regional Operations.
The hybrid bucket truck utilizes an advanced electric motor, transmission and lithium batteries that are coupled to a conventional diesel engine. During breaking, the hybrid electric system recovers energy, while power is added back during launch and acceleration. This makes the truck more energy efficient, especially in stop-and-go urban driving.

In addition, the truck's hydraulic bucket can be operated for up to one hour with the engine off. In contrast, the diesel engine must be on in order to operate the bucket on a conventional truck.

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