Duke Energy’s fleet adopts SmartPTO
The savings add up with SmartPTO
100 trucks for a year
$443,272 saved in fuel/year
Looking for a reliable option for converting their utility truck fleet to electric, Duke Energy chose Viatec. As the industry leader in dependable ePTO technology, SmartPTO is built with the most tested drivetrain in the industry. And it shows. After a three-month pilot period, SmartPTO has been adopted for all new aerial trucks.
“Compared to other plug-in electrics, this unit was quieter, more responsive and simpler in design. When we saw that, we thought this is a viable path to electrifying all of our bucket truck fleets.” said Mike Allison, Duke Energy’s former Director of Fleet Design and Technical Services.
Cost savings on fuel alone is huge
The fuel consumption savings on using electricity vs. using fuel was immediately noticeable. The fact that SmartPTO can be installed in a few days was also a huge plus. On a worksite, crews can run the bucket lift and the air conditioning from SmartPTO. With the diesel engine off, crew members in the bucket can communicate easily with the grounds crew and neighborhood residents don’t hear the rumble of the engine. “That’s the real plus, especially when working at night,” said distribution lineworker Matthew Price. “The trucks are so quiet. The person in the bucket can easily communicate with people on the ground.”
Going the extra kilowatt in customer care
Viatec helped train operators and proactively provided telematic data in recurring reporting to optimize the user experience. Allison said, “The units involve much less integration with the chassis or the aerial equipment than their competitors. There is no performance loss vs. running off of the diesel engine and chassis PTO. Fuel reductions have been as expected and the units are extremely quiet.”
SmartPTO reduces emissions
For Duke Energy, the plug-and-play capability was a big winner. SmartPTO was easily installed on new and existing trucks. The 14.4 kWh mid-sized battery option easily powers the aerial lift without the demand of an idling engine. Operators working up in power lines are able to hear the ground crew and vice versa, improving safety. Operators report that they enjoyed a quiet, clean worksite without sacrificing performance.
Flexibility built in for long shifts
At the end of a shift, the bucket truck returns to home base and then charges overnight using a standard wall outlet. Because SmartPTO is a redundant system, crews can switch to using the legacy diesel system for critical round-the-clock emergency situations, such as storm-related power outages.
“Compared to other plug-in electrics, this unit was quieter, more responsive and simpler in design. When we saw that, we thought this is a viable path to electrifying all of our bucket truck fleets.”
Former Director of Fleet Design and Technical Services, Duke Energy