Minnesota-based Universal Tactical Systems has designed a battery-electric medium-duty truck with the capability to be equipped with a bucket and swing arm for use by electric utility workers, the Star Tribune has reported.

The truck, named Zeus, is expected to have an electric range of 120 miles, according to designer and CEO Bob Grinstead. Both Grinstead and partner Brian Graff are seeking $500,000 from informal investors for the construction of a truck prototype, the Star Tribune added.

Edison Electric Institute (EEI) issued a report last year urging utilities to more than double their  investments in electric utility fleet vehicles because they will help utilities reduce operating costs for fuel and maintenance, among other benefits.

The first battery-electric utility truck with an aerial device in the U.S. was unveiled by Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. Corporation (SEV U.S.) and Altec Industries in 2009. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has also released a Class 5 plug-in hybrid-electric bucket truck.

Originally posted on Work Truck Online