Electric vehicles can handle tough jobs — from bussing children to school to picking up trash.

CASTELAZ: “Those tend to be really good vocations for electric trucks.”

PhotoThat’s Jim Castelaz of Motiv Power Systems, a company that provides the software to run electric vehicles. He says the trucks are easily charged because they are driven for less than eight hours a day and taken back to a depot each night.

The initial cost for an electric truck is about double that of a conventional one. But…

CASTELAZ: “The thing about trucks though, is over the lifetime of a truck a lot more is spent on fuel than is spent on the actual truck.”

When it comes to fueling the vehicle, electricity is one-eighth the cost of gasoline or diesel.

CASTELAZ: “The total cost of owning that electric truck is a lot less and that is really what is compelling to a lot of these fleets.”

Chicago is currently testing an electric garbage truck.

CASTELAZ: “It’ll pick up 20,000 pounds of trash over the course of a day and then go be charged up over night and be ready to do it again the next morning.”

Castelaz expects Chicago to purchase more of these quiet electric garbage trucks as its current fleet reaches the end of its life — benefiting the environment and the bottom line!

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photo: Motiv’s first EV garbage truck (source: Motive Power Systems).

More Resources
North America’s First Electric Garbage Truck Is Silently Driving Chicago Streets
Motiv Power Systems
Motiv webpage on the Chicago project
Motiv briefing on its Chicago garbage truck

Bruce Lieberman, a long-time journalist, has covered climate change science, policy, and politics for nearly two decades. A newspaper reporter for 20 years, Bruce worked for The San Diego Union-Tribune...