Chicago's New Electric Garbage Trucks Give Trash the Silent Treatment

Illustration for article titled Chicago's New Electric Garbage Trucks Give Trash the Silent Treatment

You know how I know it's garbage day? Because it's 5 am and it sounds like the trucks from Pump are getting busy on the curb. VROOOOOM, CRUNCH, SLAM, WAKKA WAKKA WAKKA, SLAM, CRUNCH, VROOOOOM. But some lucky Chicagoans will soon be able to sleep all the way through the night thanks to a new fleet of (mostly) silent dump trucks.


Built by Motiv, an electric vehicle company that first gained prominence with its electric school bus for Kings Canyon Unified School District in California, the new all electric garbage truck will run a 60 mile route while collecting and compacting an estimated 9 tons of trash every day. It is also expected to save 2,688 gallons of diesel and $11,000 in maintenance costs annually. Compact-y parts of the truck are still sure to make a racket, but the driving part will be mercifully whisper-quiet.

In all, Chicago aims to add at least 20 of these vehicles to its existing, 600-strong fleet over the next five years at a cost of $13.4 million. The electric truck will make its public debut on September 23rd at a Ride and Drive event put on by the CALSTART High-Efficiency Truck Users Forum—check it out before the vehicle is bathed in human refuse. [AP News]

Image: PRNewsFoto/Motiv Power Systems



There's been a big push recently for fleet vehicles to use alternative fuels (electric included) because they typically have fixed (read predictable) route and a home base. This offsets the fact that there isn't as much infrastructure to support alternative fuels. The lack of support infrastructure and range have always been the drawbacks of alternative fuels but these go away with a fleet vehicle with a fixed route. CNG/LNG/Propane/electric buses, garbage trucks, etc. can have their own home base with their own infrastructure and after the capital investment, the operating costs drop dramatically from traditional fuels.