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Grand Coulee Dam Makes Room for Electric Powered Vehicles
Grand Coulee Dam, Washington - The Bureau of Reclamation has added more than two dozen utility trucks to its vehicle fleet for a pilot project that will introduce low-maintenance, zero emissions Electric Utility Vehicles (EUV) at the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington State.
The lithium-ion battery powered EUVs will solve a chronic vehicle shortage for making short trips around the hydro power complex.
“In the last couple of years, Grand Coulee has added about 130 employees. We're trying to introduce these electric vehicles as a way to offset our current gas fleet vehicles,” says Matt Tillman, Grand Coulee’s Administrative Officer. “Grand Coulee spends over $100,000 on fossil fuel each year. We're expecting to be able to cut that consumption by 10 to 15 percent.”
The EUVs will work well in Grand Coulee’s 18 square mile campus which will include transmission yards, four power plants and the mile-wide dam itself. Employees often take short trips around the complex and although they are short, they’re hard on vehicles and poor use of a fossil fuel powered car. The EUVs are powered by renewable energy that’s generated at the dam which will reduce usage of fossil fuels. In addition, maintenance on the vehicles requires no disposal of hazardous materials associated with gas-powered vehicles and they have a battery life span of 15 years.
The EUVs, made specifically for use at the Grand Coulee Dam, can handle a 1,000 pound payload, reach a top speed of 25 mph with plenty of torque to make it up steep grades and are equipped with a tool section on the side and an over-vehicle rack that holds ladders.
Press release from U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
Article in the Grand Coulie Star newspaper
For additional information:
Grand Coulee Dam, Administrative Officer