I’ve been telling you about the idea of running fleet vehicles on electric power; specifically collection trucks. The good news now is that the concept is not only moving forward, it’s evolving at tremendous speed and with a lot of torque.
The City of Los Angeles’ sanitation department, LA Sanitation (LASAN) started a four month pilot project in January of this year with a class six battery-electric refuse truck that was developed by BYD and Wayne Engineering. The truck was operated on the same routes as LASAN’s regular collection vehicles. That means the electric truck delivered up to four tons per day to the landfill on a single charge without experiencing any major mechanical or performance issues.FREE Infographic on Landfill Management: 6 Tips for Excellence in Landfill Operations. Covering publicity, education, engineering, long-term planning, and landfill gas waste-to-energy. Download it now!
In all, it drove up to 108 miles a day, averaging a range of 99 miles and totaling more than 5,200 miles throughout the demonstration according to BYD.
Ron Cole is the fleet manager for LA Sanitation. He says, “As stewards of the environment, LASAN always looks forward to opportunities for testing and evaluation of new technologies that will help minimize our carbon footprints and other environmental impacts. LASAN worked closely with BYD during the testing to ensure the electric vehicle met our operational requirements and the outcomes of the testing are satisfactory. This will pave the path for LASAN to move to zero emission collection fleet as part of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Sustainability pLAn.”
Macy Neshati is the senior vice president of BYD Heavy Industries. She thanked LA Sanitation for its leadership with the project. “BYD set out to prove that our battery-electric refuse trucks reliably achieve 100 miles of range in everyday operating conditions, and we achieved that goal with a record-breaking 99 miles per charge over a four month time frame,” said Neshati. “This demonstration with LA Sanitation proves to other municipal refuse fleets that electrification is possible today. Additionally, these battery-electric trucks can provide significant operational cost savings.”
And the CEO of Wayne Engineering, Kevin Watje says, “We’ve been designing and manufacturing innovative equipment for the waste management sector for half a century, and that has all been a buildup to this project with BYD and LA Sanitation, bringing cutting edge electric technology to refuse hauling, which can easily be a zero-emission operation.”
Again, the idea of electrifying fleets as opposed to cars is that on the whole, cars don’t use as much gas as trucks; they’re already fairly clean compared to trucks; and the cost for making electric cars is significantly higher than it is for making ones that run on gas. The economics become more and more compelling when you consider that collection trucks use exponentially more fuel and on top of that, combine regenerative braking technology with an electrified truck and there are significant cost savings on maintenance.
I’d like to hear from the fleet managers and operators and what you think about running collection fleets on electric power. How would an electric fleet affect operations?