100% Electric Vehicles Currently the only technology of its kind in the trucking market, the Motiv ePCS uses off-the-shelf batteries and motors, which can be mixed and matched to fit the exact size of the electric truck needed and swapped out as battery technology improves.  Image Credit: PRNewsFoto/Motiv Power Systems

Published on March 7th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan

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Electric Garbage Truck!

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March 7th, 2013 by Zachary Shahan
 

Something about garbage trucks are simply beastly. Well, maybe a few things — their size, the stench, and the way they totally crush that garbage. So, electric garbage trucks bring some nice beastly power to the electric vehicle community. And I hope it explains why I got so excited when I saw news about such garbage trucks (and keep hearing their crushing power in my head).

Currently the only technology of its kind in the trucking market, the Motiv ePCS uses off-the-shelf batteries and motors, which can be mixed and matched to fit the exact size of the electric truck needed and swapped out as battery technology improves.  Image Credit: PRNewsFoto/Motiv Power Systems

Currently the only technology of its kind in the trucking market, the Motiv ePCS uses off-the-shelf batteries and motors, which can be mixed and matched to fit the exact size of the electric truck needed and swapped out as battery technology improves. Image Credit: PRNewsFoto/Motiv Power Systems

Word on the street is that Motiv Power Systems will soon provide the first U.S. all-electric Class 8 refuse truck. And it has just announced some of its vendor partners. “The garbage truck body will be a Loadmaster 20 cubic yard Excel-S series, provided by RNOW Inc under municipal contract with the City of Chicago. The chassis, manufactured by Crane Carrier, will be furnished by Cumberland Service Center another City of Chicago contracted dealer,” a press release regarding the new agreements states.

The first of these electric trucks will be put into service in Chicago. “Last November, Motiv was granted a contract up to $13.4 million to provide up to 20 EV refuse trucks for the City of Chicago. The scalability and flexibility of the Motiv electric Powertrain Control System (ePCS) made the company the most cost-effective choice for the exclusive 5-year contract.”

One of the interesting things about the Motiv garbage trucks is that they use “off the shelf” technology, and yet are the only trucks of their kind.

“Currently the only technology of its kind in the trucking market, the ePCS uses off-the-shelf batteries and motors, which can be mixed and matched to fit the exact size and duty cycle of the electric truck needed.  The ePCS can handle EV trucks from medium-duty to heavy-duty, weighing 15,000 lbs to 52,000 lbs.  Research suggests the ePCS design approach cuts operating costs by 50 percent over an eight-year period.  With its medium-duty pilot shuttle, Motiv reduced operating cost from 80 cents per mile ($0.80/mi) to 10 cents per mile ($0.10/mi).”

I guess there just wasn’t the entrepreneurial drive to develop electric garbage trucks as there was to develop electric sports cars. I wonder why….

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



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  • Laszlo Toth

    I have long monitor the notes. I’ve often written that I have an idea of electric car charging battery while driving. Many of these options is the brake, whereas there is no problem in the electronics which would not be feasible. Nobody listens to me.

    Laszlo Toth enginering

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Probably have to go beyond an idea and get something working in order to get people’s attention.

  • http://twitter.com/vetxcl vetxcl

    Awww, no more ‘transam powered’ garbage trucks capable of going from zero – sixty in two seconds?! What will all those garbage truck street racers use then? Seriously, this is still only in it’s early stages in ONE city, but that is a start of something better. Encouraging news.

    Now , about those garbage-POWERED trucks…

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