The Birth and Journey of Electric Garbage Trucks

July 24, 2018 Tom Clark | Comments Off

In September 2014, the people of Chicago witnessed America’s first ever all-electric garbage truck. This was the first pollution and noise free garbage day in the city. The truck was designed and developed by California based Motiv Power System, who won a competitive bid to land the purchase order of 20 such trucks. Its purchase was supported by the Department of Environment,who offered a huge grant to the city for the purpose. The truck was designed to be fit for Chicago, and other cities as well.

The first Motiv ERV (Electric Refuse Vehicle) is equipped with ten battery packs that provide it tremendous 200-kilowatt hours of electric energy. It is enough to power the truck and the hydraulic systems for a 60-mile round. The truck, as efficient as its diesel counterparts,has a total capacity of nine tons and 1000 pounds per cubic meter of refuse compaction.

It does not only save the people from the horrible sound of the diesel engine but also does a good job for the environment. Each electric truck offsets 2,688 gallons of diesel, and 23 tons of carbon dioxide every year.

After the success of the Motiv ERV in Chicago, plans to introduce all-electric garbage trucks in California were made.However, hybrid trucks were already operating in the city. One of the producers of the hybrid trucks was Wrightspeed, founded by Tesla co-founder Ian Wright. Wrightspeed introduced jet-like turbine in the diesel trucks. The turbine would start spinning when the battery ran low, burning fuel to generate electricity and power the truck. In June 2017, the first all-electric truck was brought to Sacramento. The powertrain of this truck was built by Motiv Power Systems, with a Crane Carrier chassis, and the body was built by Loadmaster. The truck was expected to save 6,00 gallons of fuel per year. Now, all major vehicle companies are making innovative plans to improve the electric garbage trucks.

These electric systems were made compatible with the engines of existing diesel trucks. This gives garbage haulers the chance to turn their existing trucks into electric ones. Although the initial investment for acquiring an electric refuse truck is higher than the diesel model, the long-term saving more than compensate for it. Along with this, the trucks are a good step towards curbing and countering air and noise pollution in cities.

With the increasing popularity of electric garbage trucks, a hauler can easily find new and used garbage trucks for sale with the electric system. Since the initial cost might be above the budget of a medium-sized hauler, looking for used garbage trucks for sale can help optimize the investment and promise better returns.