Is there anything dirtier than garbage collection? Not if the French have something to say about it. Starting next week, electric garbage trucks will start patrolling the Parisian suburb of Courebevoie. Garbage collection has never been so quiet.
French electric company PVI joined with garbage truck designer and built Semat to build this electric garbage truck. And while the whole no-emissions-unless-you-count-electricity-production is neat, what gets me really excited is the prospect of not being woken up at 5:30 in the morning by a loud, lumbering garbage truck snatching up cans and bellowing smoke into my window.
While some French municipalities have played with electric garbage trucks before, moving a multi-ton vehicle like that required a lot of power, meaning limited traveling range and low speeds on existing battery technology. New lithium-ion batteries from Dow Kokam, provides eight hours of operation, and since garbage trucks typically don’t travel fast, or far, and they’re so quiet, an electric solution to garbage collection sounds pretty good. They’ve tried EV garbage trucks in England before, and as far as I know they’re still going strong. Then again, I’m rather keen on using garbage itself to power garbage trucks, but those engines are still pretty damn loud. Really, they got to turn down the volume on those things.
Plans are to roll out 11 EV garbage grabbers by the end of the year, with the first hitting streets next week. I’m curious about the charging methods myself (how long, how many volts, etc.) and it’ll be interesting to see if these trucks can succeed where their successors failed.
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.