NYC Sanitation Department ready for Mack’s first electric refuse truck

Mack delivers electric garbage truck to NYC

A copper Bulldog is coming to New
York City. The Bulldog is the new identifier for Mack Trucks electric products and will adorn the grille of the Mack LR
Electric model that the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) will
begin testing on Monday.

announcement came during a press event at Mack’s Customer Center in Allentown,
Pennsylvania, on Thursday. Officials from DSNY attended the briefing. The
truck, equipped with a 25-yard Heil body, was heading to New York in the
evening for initial testing.

DiRico, deputy commissioner of DSNY, said the city will begin with some initial
analysis of the vehicle on the city’s dynamometer during simulation testing
next week. It will then go back to Mack for evaluation and adjustments before
the vehicle hits the streets of New York in the second quarter.

A second
test vehicle will enter operation with Republic Services in North Carolina
later this year. Full testing for New York will take about a year, said Roy
Horton, director of product strategy for Mack Trucks.

New York Department of Sanitation Deputy Commissioner Rocky DiRico takes questions in front of the Mack LR Electric refuse truck the city will soon put into operation. It is the first electric refuse truck from Mack to go into operation. (Photo: Brian Straight/FreightWaves)

going to put this truck through tough applications,” DiRico said, while
providing an overview of the DSNY “frontline” fleet, which is 99% Mack
vehicles. DSNY has over 6,000 vehicles that handle trash and recycling
collection, snow plowing, and other responsibilities. This includes over 3,000
Mack models that are part of the frontline fleet, including 2,346 collection trucks,
562 salt spreaders, 440 street sweepers, 461 wheel loaders and additional
light-duty vehicles.  

DSNY will
base the Mack LR Electric model at its Brooklyn North 1 garage and test it on
local collection routes, driving about 18 miles per day. But DiRico said it’s
not the miles that are most important for the vehicle.

“It’s about
the hours of operation and the number of stops,” he told FreightWaves. “The
distance [it can drive] is contingent on the number of stops.”

Electric is comparable to diesel

Randall, senior vice president of North American sales and marketing for Mack
Trucks, said the vehicle is “close to weight neutral” compared to a diesel LR
model, giving DSNY the ability to collect a full 25 yards of waste daily. The
city will collect a number of data points, including uptime, range, miles/kWh,
driver feedback, acceleration, payload, regenerative braking, gradeability
(hills), state of charge, overall functionality and charging time/duration.

“We fully
expect [DSNY] to put it through its paces,” Horton said. “[The feedback] helps
us improve the trucks. It’s going to be a learning experience for both of us.”

DiRico said
that while NYC sanitation trucks are expected to handle snowplow duty in the
winter, this particular model will not have that task initially.

“I don’t
expect the truck to plow, but we’re looking at battery technology … and we hope
the technology will catch up,” he said. “I think the technology will advance to
the point where plowing [is possible]. Ultimately, we have to get to plowing
because we can’t have a fleet for collection and one for plowing.”

A look at the transmission for the Mack LR Electric refuse truck. (Photo: Brian Straight/FreightWaves)

The LR
Electric features two AC motors with 496 peak horsepower producing 4,051
pounds-foot of torque with a two-speed transmission. It is equipped with a
20,000-pound Mack FXL20 front axle and two Mack S522R 52,000-pound rear axles.
Gross vehicle weight is 72,000 pounds.

the vehicle are four lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide batteries and a
charging system that features up to 150 kW charging power at 200 amps maximum
current. A regenerative braking system that features auto, low and high options
gives operators the ability to manage how much energy is captured during
braking. DiRico said he thought operators would drive it in high most often.

accessories are electrically driven, including the 25-yard DuraPack 5000 rear

Mack, NYC
have a long partnership

relationship between Mack Trucks and DSNY dates back more than 25 years and has
included a number of milestones and pilot programs. Among those were deployment
of the first Mack low entry vehicle in 1999 and the introduction of compressed
natural gas in 2001, biodiesel in 2006, hybrid-electric in 2009, dimethyl ether
in 2017 and renewable diesel in 2018.

deployment of electric vehicles is part of DSNY’s goal of reducing greenhouse
gas emissions by 80% by 2035.

relationship is also important for other reasons as well.

“It’s a long-standing, long-term collaboration between ourselves and New York,” Horton told FreightWaves. “They have been an excellent partner in many ways. Having a partner like this is invaluable because these guys have the resources to [validate technology].”

echoed those sentiments.

“Not only
is it important for Mack, but it’s important for the industry and the fleets
that don’t have the resources,” he said. “New York City has the people and
financial resources; other fleets don’t have the resources … and [DSNY] takes
this responsibility very seriously.”