Presque Isle is 1st Northern Light hospital to use electric maintenance trucks

9 months ago

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Northern Light Hospital has leased two electric trucks for its maintenance crews to use on the job.

The hospital’s maintenance team travels around Presque Isle and the surrounding towns to work at Northern Light’s outpatient facilities in Fort Fairfield and Caribou, along with a nursing home in Mars Hill.

Northern Light is looking into an all-electric courier van fleet in Aroostook County, but timing has not been decided, according to Jesse Renaud, associate vice president of Support Services at AR Gould in Presque Isle.

Northern Light AR Gould Hospital is the only hospital in the Northern Light system that has leased two Ford F-150 Lightning EV trucks as part of its regular fleet of maintenance vehicles.

“We have proven that [the EV trucks] can work fine in the winter up here, so we really don’t have any reservations about the cold weather climate and an EV,” Renaud said.

The hospital’s EV program is integral to reaching Northern Light’s emission reduction goal of 50 percent by 2030. Northern Light plans to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 as part of its Health Sector Pledge to reduce emissions.

Current data for how the electric vehicles fit into its emission reduction goal wasn’t immediately available because Northern Light is still compiling its data on its EV trucks for this year.

Lead maintenance worker and master electrician Linwood Shaw loads equipment into the bed of the electric Ford F-150 Lightning at Northern Light A.R. Gould Hospital in Presque Isle on Aug. 10. (Courtesy of Northern Light AR Gould Hospital)

The Ford F-150 Lightning trucks were leased in February and March 2023 for four years at a lower rate compared with what most people pay for them, according to Renaud.

Renaud declined to say how much the EV trucks leases cost.

The EV trucks are plugged into two of the four Level 2 chargers installed at the hospital at night and during the day when the vehicles aren’t being used by the maintenance crew. 

Maximum range for the EV trucks on a single charge is 230 miles on average, which is reduced to about 115 miles in colder winter temperatures.

The Ford F-150 Lightning trucks are all-wheel drive with dual motors that don’t require as much maintenance because they don’t have oil or fuel filters that need changing. Maintenance savings are estimated at $2,500 per year for both trucks, Renaud said.

“For the majority of the [maintenance crew, it] was the first time they had ever driven an EV and I think they were quite impressed with the weight distribution of the vehicle,” Renaud said.
In December 2022, Northern Light Pharmacy introduced four new electric Chevy Bolt EUV vehicles to its delivery fleet in and around the Bangor area.

Correction: An earlier version of this story should have said there is $2,500 savings in maintenance costs per year for the two trucks.