DAILY NEWS Nov 19, 2012 7:18 AM - 1 comment

Chicago to electrify trash truck fleet

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2012-11-19

CHICAGO, Ill. -- The city of Chicago will deploy the heaviest electric trucks in the US, as it deploys 20 Class 8 electric vehicle refuse trucks.

The trucks will weigh 52,000 lbs and have a range of 60 miles. They’ll be powered by Motiv Power Systems, using its electric powertrain control system (ePCS).

The five-year contract is worth up to US$13.4 million.

The ePCS system uses off-the-shelf batteries and motors and can handle trucks ranging from medium-duty to Class 8, weighing 15,000-52,000 lbs. The city of Chicago expects the trucks to reduce operating cost by 50% over an eight-year period.

“We are thrilled that Chicago is driving the push for electric refuse trucks, and our ePCS can be employed to create these revolutionary vehicles,” said Shyam Nagrani, vice-president of business development and marketing for Motiv. “Our ePCS can do what no other EV truck system can do, scale up and down to meet the exact needs of any fleet using a conventional chassis.  These EV refuse trucks will provide the streets of Chicago with quiet, emissions-free garbage pick-up, without submitting residents to excessive diesel pollution or loud noise. Who wants to be woken up at 5 a.m. by an idling garbage truck?”




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James

This is actually a very smart use where electric vehicles make great sense. Garbage trucks do not travel very far, operate at very low speeds, require tremendous low-speed torque, and stand still during a large part of their daily work cycle. The short distances should be well within practical battery pack ranges. Electric vehicles are exceptionally efficient at low speeds. Electric motors provide 100% torque low speeds whereas petrol trucks have to rev-up burning excess fuel to provide sufficient torque. Most petrol vehicles burn a sizable amount of fuel running idol; engines burn dirty at idol whereas electric vehicles expend zero energy when not turning the motor.

I have read a few studies about how postal delivery is ideally suited for electric vehicles as well. Due to their stop and start nature typical postal trucks get about 9 miles per gallon. At very low speeds current electric cars can travel upwards of 1,000 miles per charge as exemplified by the Zoe 24 hour distance demonstration. For work cycles that are not speed dependent such as mail delivery a much smaller [read cheaper] batter pack can be employed. Couple this with the near zero maintenance costs for electric vehicles and electric postal vehicles could be the best government investment since the transcontinental railroad.

Posted November 22, 2012 01:19 PM


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