It’s the first of its kind, and Sacramento County is excited to be the test market for battery-electric heavy-duty refuse trucks.
The company responsible for this groundbreaking technology, TransPower, dubs these vehicles as “ElecTruck.” TransPower* will station them with Sacramento County to demonstrate that these monster electric vehicles (EV) will meet or exceed the performance standards of conventional diesel refuse trucks, in the categories of acceleration, hauling capacity, reliability, cost of ownership and other key metrics. It is expected that these EV refuse trucks that will operate in neighborhoods will also lift and collect trash more quietly with electric energy.
“I jumped at the chance to demonstrate these promising vehicles that will save the County operating and maintenance costs and reduce the impact on the environment,” said Keith Leech, who is the County’s Fleet Division and Parking Enterprise Chief and the one responsible for leading the pilot effort. Leech is also Sacramento Regional Clean Cities Coalition President.
The typical heavy-duty diesel garbage truck uses roughly 10,000 gallons or gallon-equivalents of diesel fuel annually. The diesel fuel costs for these EV refuse trucks will be eliminated. Also, the emission levels from diesel refuse trucks are significant and a big factor to think about, but with EV refuse trucks there are zero emissions during operation.
Sacramento County Executive Bradley J. Hudson, said, “By Sacramento County demonstrating these innovative EV refuse trucks, our County continues our commitment to sustainability and smart environmental practices, but it will also provide critical information for heavy-duty electric vehicle research to advance this niche market and make it mainstream for everyone’s benefit.”
The County Department of Waste Management and Recycling will operate the two demonstration refuse trucks daily and already has a fleet that runs on either liquid natural gas (LNG) or compressed natural gas (CNG) to reduce cost and harm to the environment.
Paul Philleo, Director of Waste Management and Recycling, said, “Natural gas vehicles emit only a fraction of the emissions of diesel fuel and save the County and rate payers money. But the thought of zero emissions, coupled with eliminating fuel costs with these electric refuse trucks is really something to be excited about.”
One of the County’s LNG refuse trucks uses about 35 gallon-equivalent of LNG per day and cost averages $107 to operate. Leech says each electric refuse truck is estimated to cost approximately $24 a day to operate. That’s good savings that adds up.
It’s also important to note that because this is part of a pilot to demonstrate the trucks, the cost to the County is nil. In fact, the first two years are free; the County will only need to provide TransPower with an accounting of operating expenses. Afterward, the County can buy or lease the trucks at substantially less than their actual cost.
“TransPower is honored to receive a vote of confidence from one of the Top Green Government Fleets in North America, and we look forward to seeing the demonstration of our first advanced technology electric refuse trucks meet the demanding requirements of operating on the routes served by Sacramento County Waste Management and Recycling,” stated Mike Simon, CEO of TransPower.
The County anticipates receiving the electric refuse trucks by 2016, and then they will be dispatched into County neighborhoods to make their debut.
* TransPower was awarded a grant of nearly $9 million by the California Energy Commission (CEC) for new electric truck and tractor demonstration projects throughout the state of California.