As the stock market swoons over electric vehicle companies such as Tesla and Lucid, another EV revolution is about to change the way America works. This one, though, is unlikely to ever become a trending topic on Twitter.
Electric work vehicles, including refuse trucks and buses, have started reaching streets across the country.
One of the places where electric work vehicles are already in service is New York City. The Department of Sanitation started using an electric street sweeper in May and has been testing a 72,000-pound electric refuse truck since November 2020. That truck, a Mack LR Electric, was first shown as a prototype at WasteExpo 2018, and serial production is scheduled to start at Mack's Lehigh Valley Operations facility in Pennsylvania before the end of the year.
"It's been in service for a year and it's been flawless," said Rocky DiRico, Department of Sanitation deputy commissioner for support services.
The truck picks up and compacts around 12 to 13 tons of garbage per shift and has been tested on routes all around the city. There are seven sanitation zones in New York City, and because the EV test has been so successful, the city has ordered seven more electric trucks — one for each zone — that will go into service at the end of 2022. New York City plans to order seven more after that.
"That would put two in each zone," DiRico said. "If they all perform as well as the first one, then we would apply some serious numbers."