Just before Waste Expo in April, I blogged about Volvo announcing its first all-electric truck for urban distribution and refuse operations and how the initial two vehicles would be deployed in Gothenburg, Sweden, and operated by the waste collection and recycling company, Renova, and trucking firm, TGM.
It was an exciting announcement since I happen to agree with Ian Wright, the founder of Wrightspeed and co-founder of Tesla, that having millions of electric cars on the road will only make a small impact on reducing carbon emissions because overall, cars really don’t burn that much fuel and they’re already relatively clean. If we really want to make a significant difference, we need to electrify fleets. Waste collection vehicles and delivery trucks would be the target fleets.
As Yogi Berra once said, “It’s déjà vu all over again.” Just a few weeks after revealing the first all-electric collection vehicle, the Volvo FL Electric, the company has presented a second electric truck model, the Volvo FE Electric. The latter is designed for heavier city distribution and refuse transport operations with gross weights of up to 27 tons.
Claes Nilsson, the president of Volvo Trucks, says, “With the introduction of the Volvo FE Electric, we have a comprehensive range of electrically powered trucks for city operations and are taking yet another strategic step forward in the development of our total offer in electrified transport solutions. This opens the door to new forms of cooperation with cities that target to improve air quality, reduce traffic noise, and cut congestion during peak hours since commercial operations can instead be carried out quietly and without tailpipe exhaust emissions early in the morning or late at night.”
I’m thinking it wasn’t a coincidence that Mack Trucks announced at Waste Expo plans to have a fully electric Mack LR refuse model equipped with an integrated Mack electric drivetrain operating in North America in 2019 with the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) testing the demonstration vehicle. In its press release, Mack said it “believes that at this stage of electromobility technology and infrastructure development, a fully electric vehicle will deliver the most value within a closed loop application, in which the truck returns home every night, such as refuse. Benefits of fully electric trucks include zero emissions, significantly reduced noise and environmental sustainability. The ability to operate quietly at night is particularly attractive to refuse customers in urban areas.”
By the way, Mack Trucks is part of the Volvo Group. Oh, and Ian Wright’s Wrightspeed company had on display its hybrid range-extending technology at Waste Expo 2016.