The city of Exeter in England is now using three electric garbage trucks as part of its sanitation fleet. The trucks are powered by renewable electricity generated at the city council’s solar farm and battery storage facility.
The electric trucks were successfully tested in a pilot program last year, where they were shown to be able to carry out a day’s collections on a single charge. The city has plans to change its entire fleet of 15 garbage trucks to electric within the next six years.
It’s estimated that merely replacing three of the 15 diesel vehicles with fully electric ones will save 10,500 liters (~ 2800 gallons) of diesel per year for each vehicle. If the entire fleet was electric, the savings would be 157,500 liters of diesel per year. The carbon saved on each electric vehicle is approximately 27,000kg per year.
“These trucks go out across the city – there are 15 of them at the depot, and we now have our first three that are electric,” said Duncan Wood, lead councillor for climate change. “Exeter’s refuse vehicles are out every day throughout the city, and each truck runs its engine almost constantly from the moment they go out to when they get back to the depot. That’s seven- to eight hours of emissions from a truck, collecting around nine tons of rubbish, being moved around by diesel engines throughout our city – that’s what’s going to be saved by using these electric vehicles. This is a significant investment, a significant change to the way we operate. These vehicles will be charged from our solar farm at Water Lane in Marsh Barton. So not only will they be cleaner, the electricity we use we know will be green electricity, so it is a definite plus.”