Burlington Unveils Vermont’s First All-Electric Bucket Truck

BED’s E-Bucket Truck for Line Crew Replaces Fossil Fuel Truck In Important Step toward Net Zero Energy

Burlington, VT – Mayor Miro Weinberger and Burlington Electric Department (BED), joined today by partners from the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR), Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), and Burlington City Councilor Hannah King (Ward 8), unveiled the state’s first all-electric bucket truck. The new truck, with its unique white and green colors and “all electric – powered by 100% renewable energy” tag line rather than the traditional orange color, constitutes another important step along the path to Burlington becoming a Net Zero Energy city. It will reduce BED’s annual diesel fuel usage by an estimated 1,650 gallons and reduce engine idling by an estimated 1,500 hours. 

“Burlington is aggressively moving forward to electrify everything and reduce our carbon emissions as quickly as possible,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger. “When it comes to investing public dollars into new City assets that could serve our community for many years, we always look for new, innovative electric technologies that are aligned with our Net Zero Energy goal. I appreciate the integral funding support we received from the State of Vermont that has allowed our dedicated lineworkers, who work day and night in all kinds of weather, to be the first team to put an electric bucket truck to the test. I hope that seeing this new truck out at work will inspire Burlingtonians and visitors alike to explore new ways to power their homes, business, and lives with our 100% renewable electricity.” 

“The team at Burlington Electric Department worked hard to bring this new electric bucket truck to Burlington, and this may well be the first E-bucket truck that will charge up using 100 percent renewably-sourced electricity,” stated Darren Springer, General Manager, Burlington Electric Department. “We are excited for Burlingtonians to see this new truck out in the community, helping to keep the lights on while demonstrating the most cutting-edge technology on the market. We recognize that operating this first-in-Vermont electric bucket truck is a significant responsibility, as our experiences will serve as a test case for distribution utilities and other companies with similar truck needs to study and learn from. BED will share data and its experiences with the State and other interested parties, and we hope this is the first of many larger vehicle electrification projects in the City and State of Vermont.” 

About the new, all electric bucket truck 

In its analysis of the new electric bucket truck, BED ensured that its capabilities would meet or exceed the actual operating parameters and reliability of the 20-year-old fossil fuel truck it is replacing.  

  • The new truck was manufactured by Terex Utilities, a company that introduced the first ever all-electric bucket truck in June 2022.  
  • There are two battery systems: one for operating the truck that will be charged with a Level 3 DC fast charger that will fully charge the truck in approximately six hours; and another for operating the aerial boom and hydraulics systems that will be charged with a Level 2 charger capable of fully charging in approximately five hours.  
  • The truck will reduce annually an estimated 18.6 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) and nearly 230 pounds of NOx. 
  • It has a 110- to 115-mile driving range and the ability to idle for seven hours per workday, while providing sufficient power to operate the aerial boom and bucket (55 feet high from ground to base of bucket and 60 feet working height) on a single charge. 
  • Safety features including truck-stabilizing hydraulics when the boom is extended, horns, and continuous radio contact. 
  • The truck and two chargers were funded largely by the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust (EMT), from which the State of Vermont awarded BED a grant in the amount of $560,000.  
  • BED will pay the remaining balance of the $718,248, and calculates a payback of nine years, given the magnitude of the annual maintenance and fuel savings. 

In applying for the EMT grant, BED referenced its two-pronged approach to help advance vehicle electrification, including: offering a range of incentives to encourage Burlingtonians to purchase electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and home and workplace chargers; and committing to electrifying BED’s own fleet and supporting its sister City departments to do the same; when and where vehicle purchases are made and when replacement technology is available. DEC manages the EMT funds with a primary goal of reducing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions in the state. Based in part on input from the public, other state agencies and the legislature, DEC determined that EMT funds would be allocated to assess the feasibility of all-electric technologies and begin to catalyze market transformation in Vermont, from diesel-powered to electric-powered equipment. A requirement of the grant is that the old bucket truck must be retired to ensure air quality and public health benefits are achieved.  

DEC Commissioner John Beling, who attended the announcement with members of DEC’s Air Quality and Climate Division, stated: “With ground transportation pollution being such a significant contributor to the degradation of our environment, our DEC team is doing all it can to work with partners around the State to reduce emissions of NOx, greenhouse gases, and other harmful air pollutants. We hope our collective success in securing Vermont’s very first all-electric bucket truck serves as a catalyst for utilities and other businesses all over Vermont to replace their fleet trucks with electric trucks whenever possible. On behalf of Governor Phil Scott and ANR Secretary Julie Moore, I am pleased to participate in this very meaningful announcement.”  

City Councilor Hannah King, who serves on the Council’s Transportation, Energy, and Utilities Committee (TEUC), stated: “I appreciate the focus that the Mayor and BED have placed on taking all possible steps to electrify our City fleet across all departments by replacing fossil fuel vehicles with electric vehicles. This new, all-electric bucket truck provides a great opportunity for the City and BED to lead by example, an example I hope will inspire other organizations, businesses, and individual residents to take climate action however they can.” 

BED Lineworker Ciaran Canavan, who will be driving the new, electric bucket truck, stated: “When we lineworkers are out in the community, we focus first on keeping ourselves and our community safe while providing reliable electric service. Then, we take our work a step further by educating Burlingtonians whenever we can on the importance of reaching our Net Zero Energy goal. Now, with our new electric bucket truck, we have a visual teaching tool that will help us educate everyone about what it means to take steps along the road to Net Zero Energy.”