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MidAmerican Energy News

Green service trucks join MidAmerican Energy fleet

DES MOINES, Iowa – (Dec. 30, 2015) – The newest additions to MidAmerican Energy’s fleet of service vehicles aren’t the familiar blue-and-white trucks customers are used to seeing at work in their communities. These new trucks are green – not just in color, but also in the way they operate.

MidAmerican Energy’s new Green Fleet service trucks are equipped with a conventional engine, plus a large battery pack that operates the boom and other vehicle features. This dual system eliminates the need to have the engine idling at the jobsite, which saves fuel, reduces engine emissions, minimizes jobsite noise and reduces the need for engine maintenance. The result is a service vehicle that is cleaner, quieter and less costly to operate, said Brian Knights, fleet program manager for MidAmerican Energy.

“Environmental respect is a core principle of MidAmerican Energy, and we’re always looking for ways to operate more efficiently and reduce our environmental impact,” Knights said. “The Green Fleet service vehicles help us meet these objectives in a way that benefits customers and employees, too.”

The JEMS® AT40G – the official model name of MidAmerican Energy’s Green Fleet vehicles – is manufactured by Altec. JEMS stands for Jobsite Energy Management System, an idle elimination system developed by Altec that uses an electrified power takeoff (ePTO) to operate the boom. In conventional service trucks, the boom that raises and lowers the bucket is powered by the vehicle’s engine, which means the vehicle has to idle the entire time the bucket is in use at the jobsite.

“Every hour a truck idles, it uses one to two gallons of fuel,” Knights said. “According to industry figures, on average, service trucks idle about four hours per day on the jobsite. So by eliminating those four hours of idling every day, we will save four to eight gallons of gas per vehicle per day, which will add up to a significant reduction in emissions and significant fuel cost savings over the course of the year.”

Cutting idle time also reduces jobsite noise, Knights said. “The electric motor that raises and lowers the boom is very quiet. This is a real benefit for customers, especially when we’re working in their neighborhoods at night on streetlight repairs or storm restoration.”

Once the work shift is over, the Green Fleet vehicles are plugged in for eight hours of continuous charging so they’re ready to go the next day. The trucks also are equipped with a second alternator that provides partial charging as the vehicles are driven between jobsites.

MidAmerican Energy currently has eight Green Fleet service vehicles – five deployed in the Des Moines area and three based in the Quad Cities. Knights said the company will add to its Green Fleet over the next few years as service vehicles are replaced.

About MidAmerican Energy Company
MidAmerican Energy Company provides electric service to 746,000 customers and natural gas service to 726,000 customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota. It is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa. Information about MidAmerican Energy is available on the company’s website, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages, which can be accessed MidAmerican Energy Company's website.