For sustainable society


Garbage trucks also converted to electric vehicles

The definition that a car maker is a big company is becoming a thing of the past. EV (electric vehicle) start-ups are emerging around the world and entering the market with new ideas. To give you one example of success, do you know FOMM, which is developing a small amphibious EV vehicle? It is a startup car maker established by former employees  of Suzuki, a major Japanese car maker. Sales are increasing in Southeast Asia, where floods occur frequently.

There are many such car start-up companies, but there is also one that is drawing attention in the United States. It is Nikola Motor Co., Ltd. focused on trucks. In this August, the company signed a contract with US waste disposal company Republic Services and announced plans to manufacture a total of 2,500 electric garbage trucks. Garbage trucks will be manufactured on hybrid EV and FCV (fuel cell vehicle) heavy-duty trucks designed for Europe. The maximum output is estimated to be 1000 horsepower, which is about three times the horsepower of diesel and natural gas vehicles currently in operation. Even with a lot of luggage, the track can climb the slope without difficulty. 

Regarding the practical application of EVs and FCVs, the cruising range is a concern. According to the company’s announcement, it can travel up to 240 km on a single charge. It is expected that the mileage will be sufficient for a garbage truck that patrols a fixed route. In addition, it is said that the merit of changing to an electric vehicle is great for the work situation of garbage collection. 
The advantages are as follows:
– Reduction of noise when driving in a residential area in the early morning.
– Eliminating idling.
– Power generation by regenerative brake[1] improves energy efficiency.
John Vander Ark, president of Republic Services said that switching from a conventional gasoline engine could save a lot of operating costs.

Nikola Motor’s flagship product is a commercial vehicle, so it’s not as famous as Tesla. However, it has received a lot of attention from the commercial vehicle market and investors in the industry and is called the “Second Tesla”. The electric garbage truck will be tested on the road in 2022 and will start shipping in 2023. The conversion of garbage trucks to electric vehicles is no longer a global trend. More and more attention will be paid to the innovative changes in the garbage truck industry.

* 1
Regenerative brake: A regenerative brake is a mechanism that reduces vehicle speed by converting some of its kinetic energy into electrical energy. This electrical energy is then stored for future use or fed back into a power system for use by other vehicles. Regenerative brakes in electric railway vehicles feed the generated electricity back into the supply system. In battery electric and hybrid electric vehicles, the energy is stored in a battery or bank of capacitors for later use.

Photo:Nikola Corporation

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