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Electric Vehicles Powered by Grand Coulee Dam

Media Contact: David Walsh , (208)-378- 5026 , 11/13/2015 13:09
Matt Tillman , 509-633-9518 , mtillman@usbr.gov

For Release: November 13, 2015

Reclamation's purchase of 27 Electric Utility Vehicles (EUV) this fall will not only help reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also help solve a chronic vehicle shortage for making short trips around the project.
Reclamation's purchase of 27 Electric Utility Vehicles (EUV) this fall will not only help reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also help solve a chronic vehicle shortage for making short trips around the project.
GRAND COULEE DAM, Wash. – More than two dozen electric utility trucks purchased by the Bureau of Reclamation this fall are driving a pilot project to introduce low-maintenance, zero emissions utility vehicles at Grand Coulee Dam located in northeast Washington state.

The lithium-ion battery powered Electric Utility Vehicles or EUVs are built by e-ride Industries of Princeton, Minnesota. They are expected to help meet lower greenhouse gas emissions goals and also 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.”

Apart from low operating costs Deputy Power Manager Doug Anderson says the EUVs will work well in Grand Coulee’s 18 square mile campus which includes transmission yards, four power plants, and the mile-wide dam itself.

“It’s a large power complex and not very far from place to place, but there's an awful lot of small trips, short trips that employees make each day. That’s hard on vehicles and a poor use of a fossil fuel powered car,” says Anderson.

Tillman adds that it’s appropriate that the largest dam in the U.S. has one of the largest fleet of American-made, electric-powered vehicles. “They're powered by renewable energy that's generated here at the dam,” he said.

The 27 EUVs were specially outfitted for use at Grand Coulee Dam. There are two models, a two door utility truck for parts and equipment, and a four door truck for hauling workers. They can handle a 1000 pound payload and reach a top speed of 25 mph with plenty of torque to make it up steep grades around the power plant complex.

“They’re not golf carts. They're built for an industrial environment, like Grand Coulee, and that's how we're going to use them,” says Tillman.

The total purchase price for Grand Coulee Dam's electric utility vehicles is $881,000. There are 14 four passenger models at $32,381. each, and 13 two passenger utility models at $32,902.50. The purchase contract includes shipping and training.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at https://www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

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