California utility to add electric Zeus work trucks to fleet
By Chad Elmore17 February 2021
SMUD utility has partnered with the California Mobility Center and Zeus Electric Chassis Inc.
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) said it has partnered with Zeus Electric Chassis Inc. and the California Mobility Center (CMC) to procure five custom, all-electric work trucks to help it transition to an all-electric fleet. The medium-duty trucks will be customized for a variety of uses throughout SMUD’s service territory.
SMUD provides electricity to Sacramento County and small adjoining portions of Placer and Yolo Counties in California.
“This is a phenomenal addition to our fleet,” said SMUD General Manager and CEO Paul Lau. “Not only does it showcase the future of electric vehicles and the ability to transition a large fleet to all-electric, but it also reduces our operating costs and greenhouses gases – helping us meet our goal of zero carbon by 2030.”
The utility has invested in fleet electrification for more than 10 years and has a total of 950 assets in its fleet consisting of sedans, service trucks, bucket trucks, trailers, cable pullers and other construction equipment. Electrification efforts have depended upon commercially available technology and focused on electric and hybrid light-duty vehicles and hybrid bucket trucks. Last year, SMUD said it added 16 new Chevrolet Bolts to its fleet, bringing the count to 122 all-electric or hybrid vehicles across the fleet.
SMUD has said its goal is to transition 25% of its total fleet to electric or hybrid options by 2022.
Zeus is a start-up company based in Lindstrom, Minn., and SMUD said it is currently the only complete custom upfit electric truck chassis manufacturer in North America for medium-duty work trucks.
SMUD’s fleet engineers helped design the vehicle specifications and Zeus will fabricate the trucks in collaboration with the CMC, a public-private partnership located in Sacramento. With a nine-month lead time, SMUD said it hopes to have the vehicles in operation by the end of the year.