As more and more electric vehicles hit the nation’s roads, including electric monster trucks and electric pickups, it seems like we could add a few electric garbage trucks to the mix. Ta da! The Windy City did it first: Instead of the screeching, belching, exhaust-spewing monstrosities we know and love, Motiv Power Systems is quietly transforming Chicago’s trash collectors into something a little more peaceful — and a lot greener.
The trucks can drive 60 miles on a single charge, and the plan is to add 20 of the trucks to Chicago’s fleet of 600 over the next five years. They’re not just easier on the ears, of course: They’re also cleaner (at 100 percent electric, no toxic pollutants are pouring from that tailpipe), better for the climate (a single electric truck will not be burning 2,688 gallons of diesel a year), and cheaper (they’re supposed to save the city $11,000 annually in maintenance costs and cutting out diesel costs makes a big difference, too … although a $13.4 million price tag for the 20 trucks does sound like a lot).
From Fast Co.Exist:
The electric trucks can actually save the city money, though they’re more expensive to manufacture than a typical truck. “If you look at regular trucks, they get around 1.4 miles per gallon,” says Jim Castelaz, CEO and founder of Motiv Power Systems, the company that designed the electric powertrain for the new truck. “They’re spending a lot on fuel, every mile, every day, every year. The fuel bill for a truck over its lifetime is much higher than the purchase price. If you can reduce that the truck can pay for itself.”
Now if we could just start bragging about electric trucks hauling nine tons of recyclables instead of nine tons of trash, then we’d really be in business.