Oklahoma Gas & Electric Goes Idle-Free with Volta

Volta Power Systems and ETI, a Palfinger company, have partnered to equip Oklahoma Gas & Electric (OG&E) with the first-ever hybrid bucket work truck using automotive-grade lithium ion technology. The auxiliary power system allows the utility to expand its green fleet and cut down on idling without sacrificing on power. OG&E operators can run the hydraulic lift system, lights, power tools and more for hours on a single charge. The system recharges while underway or while idling from a high-powered alternator.

We were looking to green our fleet, and we were looking for a simple system and Volta fit that bill,” said Paul Jefferson, OG&E fleet manager.

“By implementing advanced energy systems such as Volta is offering, you can run the entire vehicle for the day, for the job site, without ever turning the engine on,” commented Jack Johnson, co-founder at Volta. 

What sets Volta’s systems apart from competitors is the automotive-grade platform behind their technology. Many competitors offer drop-in replacements, which take consumer-grade lithium-ion cells and arrange them to look and fit into the spot traditionally taken by lead acid batteries. Formed by natives of the auto industry, Volta takes a system-based approach based on dozens of years and billions of dollars spent by automotive battery manufacturers.

“It’s difficult for a work truck manufacturer, who might build a few thousand trucks a year, to carry the billions of dollars of R&D required to make that truck capable of doing what that new technology is capable of providing,” said Johnson.

Without idling, Volta-powered trucks also run quietly, allowing for three full shifts of repair work with reduced customer noise complaints. The reduced idling also reduces wear on the engine, potentially adding years to its life.

“For the OG&E customers it provides them a great benefit because in residential areas it’s quiet operation. You don’t hear a loud truck outside your door fixing something,” said Sean Angle, ETI engineering technician. “Your operators will fuel up their trucks less, and it extends the life of your truck because there is less idle time on your engine.”

Now is the time to move on green fleet upgrades according to Jack. There are several options for state and federal grant funding with hybrid systems.

“Today, there are lots of activities going on in every state funding low emissions or even replacing diesel engines when possible. If you can do the work without the engine running you can completely eliminate those emissions.”

Learn more about Volta utility applications on our Work Truck page.

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