Forum Topics

Ucluelet purchaces two electric-powered utility trucks

The District of Ucluelet has purchased two electric-powered utility trucks. “They’re small, which is nice,” said Abby Fortune, director of the district recreation department.

Fortune is talking about the latest additions to the municipality’s vehicle fleet: two electric-powered utility trucks. The initiative is part of Ucluelet’s ongoing commitment to the 2007 Climate Action Charter, signed by local governments across British Columbia to become carbon neutral by 2012.

Ucluelet council had its first look at two new arrivals to the district’s vehicle fleet: electric utility trucks, built in Errington, B.C. From left, Abby Fortune, director of recreation, councilor Randy Oliwa, councilor Bill Irving, mayor Eric Russcher and councilor Derek Drake.

The Errington-built trucks are docked at two of the community centre’s four outlets for electric vehicles. The stations were installed as part of the centre’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards.

“It’s part of the green building initiative that we embarked upon,” said Fortune. Measuring about 10 feet (3 metres) from end to end, the Might-E-Trucks aren’t hulking locomotives, but they’ll be capable of doing the same tasks as the V8-engine vehicles they’ll be replacing: the parks truck and the garbage van in public works.

“They’re two of our fuel gobblers that had to be replaced anyhow,” said Uculelet mayor Eric Russcher. The trucks are capable of going up to speeds of 40 kilometres per hour and can travel about 100 kilometres before the lead acid batteries they run on need to be charged.

Russcher and Fortune were joined by councilors Bill Irving, Randy Oliwa and Derek Drake. According to Irving, the municipality budgeted the purchase of the trucks for two and a half years. They came at a base model cost of $18,000 apiece, but rang in closer to $22,000 each with upgrades, said Fortune, including the lifting back box.

Each of the two-seater trucks has a steel box that can be mechanically tilted to dump materials. “We’ll be able to move dirt and mulch,” said Fortune. Fortune lifted the box of one truck to expose 12 batteries underneath.

Made of similar materials to the ones found in conventional vehicles, the batteries have an average life span of four to five years, said Fortune. But once they die, Drake says they will likely be replaced with batteries made of lithium.

“There are huge advancements in battery technology right now,” said Drake. While the utility trucks are narrow enough to make their way through walkways and broad paths, Fortune says locals can expect to see the trucks on the streets around town.

From the Westerly News

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>