Electric utility vehicle goes to work - Great River Energy

Electric utility vehicle goes to work

Great River Energy has put into service an all-electric utility vehicle to gain more experience with electric field vehicles and follow the principle to “electrify everything.”

The vehicle, a Polaris Ranger XP Kinetic, arrived last fall at the cooperative’s Dickinson Converter Station located in Buffalo, Minnesota, and employees have been putting it to the test.

“We thought that Dickinson would be a good place to test the vehicle because of the size of the substation and some of the outside maintenance we do where we need to haul equipment around without worrying about how we would recover it if something went wrong,” said Tony Geldert, supervising manager of HVDC converter stations at Great River Energy.

The Ranger XP Kinetic utility vehicle is being tested at Dickinson Converter Station to see if adding more units to the fleet would be beneficial to field services.

The goal is to allow others from field services and transmission construction and maintenance to borrow the side-by-side to see how it works with the work they do and if there is a possibility of adding additional units to Great River Energy’s fleet down the road.

The Dickinson location has access to an indoor, heated space for charging. The utility vehicle can be charged in a standard 120-volt outlet or a standard Level 2, 240-volt charger. If a crew takes it out on a project, it may only have access to 120-volt charging.

“We are trying to understand how much real use the crews can get out of the side-by-side if they are on a project a few days without access to charging,” Geldert said. “It’s really about gaining the experience with the EV side-by-side for day-to-day work to see if it’s fit for additional applications in the future.”

The vehicle has a range of 80 miles on a full charge. Great River Energy will continue to test it in the winter months to see how it performs.

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