Mack Joins Growing Number Testing Electric Garbage Trucks

May 10, 2019 by Alan Adler, @AlanAdler

Mack Trucks is joining a parade of manufacturers conducting tests of battery-powered electric garbage trucks.

Mack unveiled its electric LR model at the Waste Expo this week in Las Vegas. The Volvo Group division makes robust off-highway trucks for extreme tasks that would break a typical truck.

The New York City Department of Sanitation is Mack’s biggest customer for garbage trucks.

Mack battery-powered electric LR garbage truck

Photo: Mack Trucks

It gets the first truck for testing next year.

“New York City is a world leader when it comes to testing the latest technologies to help us reduce our environmental footprint,” said Rocky DiRico, the city’s deputy sanitation commissioner.

Zero-emissions electricity is growing as an alternative to diesel in work trucks that run on repeated routes and return to a central depot. That allows an electric truck to recharge while parked. Frequent starts and stops in waste hauling make the most of regenerative braking, which recaptures energy as the vehicle slows and stores it in the battery. The quiet operation of an electric trash truck compared with a diesel counterpart also is good for nighttime use.


“Garbage trucks are the perfect application for electrification,” said Antti Lindstrom, an analyst with IHS Markit.

The Mack LR integrated electric powertrain features two alternating-current 130 kW motors. They produce a combined 496 peak horsepower and 4,051 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent through a two-speed Mack Powershift transmission. Four lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide batteries charge at up to 150 kW. Electricity also drives the truck’s hydraulic systems.

Mack battery-powered electric LR garbage truck

A Mack LR uses regenerative braking, which recaptures energy as the vehicle slows and stores it in the battery. (Photo: Mack Trucks)

Other truck makers also are testing electric refuse haulers.

Volvo debuted two electric trucks, the FE Electric and FL Electric, in 2018. Renova in Hamburg, Germany, took the first FE Electric delivery in February. Peterbilt Motor Co., a division of Paccar Inc., unveiled a Class 8 heavy-duty garbage truck at the 2017 Waste Expo. Chinese automaker BYD has an order for 500 battery-powered waste haulers in Shenzhen, China.

Alan Adler May 8, 2019
Autocar Trucks has added its first conventional cab severe-use model to its lineup since 1988, looking to pick up more of the nation’s trash.

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