Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Towards a quieter garbage truck

Walking around the steets on garbage day is not much fun, and not only because of the smell. Those things are just so LOUD. So, of course, I got to wondering is anyone working on a quieter garbage truck, like an electric one, for instance?

Garbage trucks, because of their unique requirements and mode of operation, typically get about 3 miles per gallon (78 L/100km to you and me), cover an average of 130 miles a day (210 km) with over 1,000 hard stops (full throttle for a few metres, full brakes, full throttle, rinse, repeat). They are just crying out for an all-electric solution.

Well, of course somebody is working on them. It turns out that there is the quadruple-battery-powered Mack LR, already in production and taking orders as we speak. The Volvo FE Electric has been used in Germany for a year or two. There is the California-based Wrightspeed garbage truck, which uses a lithium-iron phosphate battery for extra power. And there are almost certainly several others.

So, why don't we have them on our street. Well, COVID-19, for one thing (that's the excuse for most things that go wrong these days). But also up-front cost: very few municipalities are flush with cash right now, even if the long-term savings would be prodigious. Meanwhile, those noisy behemoths just keep annoying the hell out of me.

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