Chattanooga, TN (April 8, 2015) – EPB is rolling out a pilot program to test hybrid vehicle technology with the goal of reducing pollution and operational costs related to some of its heaviest trucks.
The three plug-in hybrid electric bucket trucks use a diesel chassis, but unlike conventional trucks, the new vehicles use an electric power “takeoff unit” to operate the 55-foot boom. When a crew arrives on a job with these state-of-the-art trucks the diesel engine can be turned off, instead of idling for lengthy periods of time to power hydraulic equipment, while the boom operates with stored electricity.
The purchase of these heavy vehicles was made possible through a grant by the U.S. Department of Energy. EPB received similar assistance for the recent purchase of three plug-in hybrid vans, which are being used by EPB Fiber Optics installers.
“This pilot program is designed to benefit our customers and community by holding down system maintenance costs and reducing vehicle emissions from day-to-day operations,” said Kade Abed, EPB vice president of field operations.
In addition to this pilot vehicle program, EPB has installed several charging stations in the parking garage next to the company’s downtown headquarters building. These charging stations compliment other similar downtown facilities designed to benefit the growing number of people using plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles.
For more information, and to schedule a demonstration of the plug-in hybrid electric bucket trucks, please contact John Pless or call 423-648-1584.
Established as an independent board of the City of Chattanooga in 1935, EPB is a municipally-owned utility that provides electric power and fiber optic communications services as a means of promoting economic development and enhancing quality of life across the local area.
EPB serves nearly 180,000 homes and businesses in a 600 square-mile area that includes greater Chattanooga, as well as parts of surrounding counties and areas of North Georgia.
In 2010, EPB became the first provider in the United States to deliver up to 1 Gig (1,000 mbps) internet speeds utilizing a community-wide fiber optic network that provides access to every home and business in its service area. In 2015, EPB became the first (and to date) only American ISP to make up to 10 Gig (10,000 mbps) internet speeds accessible to all of its residential and commercial customers as a standard offer.
EPB has also utilized its community-wide fiber optic network to deploy the most advanced and highly automated smart grid power management system in the nation. In recognition of EPB’s groundbreaking infrastructure, the Department of Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory are utilizing EPB’s smart grid as a national model for researching and developing best practices. EPB is also the first major power distribution utility to earn the USGBC’s PEER certification for having a highly automated, modernized electric power grid.