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New Hybrid field truck a first at Ergon Gladstone

Published: 13 Oct 2015 3:32pm

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Further cementing it credentials as an innovative market leader and adopter, Ergon has added yet another first to its credible arsenal of emerging technologies with the delivery of a new generation hybrid mobile elevated work platform vehicle (MEWP), commonly known as a cherry picker, to its fleet in Gladstone. 

These are one of the essential tools of trade used by Ergon field crews to carry out network maintenance and in response to power outages in the wake of storms, cyclones and other contingencies.  

Ergon’s Chief Executive Ian McLeod said the initiative was not only a first for the Gladstone depot but also a first in regional Queensland with the power provider taking delivery of three of the units to be stationed at Gladstone, Toowoomba and Townsville.

The Gladstone depot crew are the first to be inducted on the new machines this week and the truck will soon be in service throughout the Gladstone region.

“The advantage we see with embracing this new technology is improvements in operational efficiency through the significant reduction in fuel costs and noise in suburban streets, particularly at night in response to late night call outs” he said.

With conventional units the elevated platform or boom and bucket apparatus is powered by the truck’s engine as opposed to the hybrid unit which uses 48 VDC supplied by four 12VDC heavy duty, deep cycle batteries connected in series which are charged by a fully autonomous 240VAC charger and by an inbuilt inverter that will charge the batteries when the truck’s engine is running.(Charge on the run)

The operator can convert to conventional model from the truck’s engine at any time if required.      

The condition of the truck (24VDC) and Hybrid (48VDC) batteries are monitored constantly while the system is on. (PTO switch on). If the voltage of any of these two battery sets drops below a certain threshold and alarm will sound and soon after the engine will start automatically.

In another first, Rockhampton Ergon staff members Courtney and Andrew Roebuck have taken delivery of the first Mitsubishi Outlander Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) to be sold in Rockhampton.

“We are extremely happy with our PHEV since taking possession of it last Thursday 8/10/15.  When you get a new car, you like to drive it as much as possible and we have done that, doing trips to the beach and around town.  We knew the fuel efficiency would be good but it has exceeded our expectation; we estimate that we will be filling the car with petrol every six to eight weeks.  The level of finish in the car is superb, and the level of automation and computer control has made us happy we got a Mitsy” Andrew Roebuck said.

Ergon Energy and Mitsubishi Motors Australia recently announced a partnership that will see eight electric vehicles (EVs) join the regional electricity distributor’s passenger fleet this year based in Cairns, Townsville, Rockhampton, Mackay, Maryborough and Toowoomba. 

The company has also finalised a lease offer to employees that could see up to a further 100 EVs taken on for private use later in the year.

Ergon’s Chief Ian McLeod said the agreement between Mitsubishi Motors and Ergon Energy underscored Ergon’s strategy to reduce carbon emissions and embrace emerging technologies.

 “Ergon Energy, as a forward thinking electricity distributor believes that wider adoption of EVs will happen,” Mr McLeod said. “This is a journey to which we are committed, and we’re very excited to be now firmly in the driver’s seat as well.”

The latest incorporation of the eight Mitsubishi Outlander PHEVs continues Ergon’s association with EVs which began in 2012 when the utility ran a ground-breaking 18-month trial involving Mitsubishi i-Miev vehicles in Townsville.

“We predict EV adoption will increase network utilisation, and further help put downward pressure on network prices so we want to ensure the most efficient connections for customers. We also know that EVs will require efficient connections – both in the home and where on-road infrastructure is available,” Mr McLeod said.

Media Contact: Bob Pleash, Corporate Communications Manager
Phone: 49327327 or 0419714270

New hybrid field truck a first for Ergon Gladstone
Courtney and Andrew Roebuck take delivery of the first Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV sold in Rockhampton
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