Expensive trash trucks

RCVs are refuse collection vehicles.

Cambridge councils roll out electric RCV
The Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Service – a partnership between South Cambridgeshire district and Cambridge city councils – has rolled out its first electric refuse collection vehicle (RCV). The fully electric Dennis Eagle ‘eCollect’ costs around £400,000, which the partnership says is more than the approximate £185,000 cost of a diesel bin lorry.

400/185 = 2.2x

The first of everything is likely to be expensive. And batteries are expensive. It will be interesting to see how prices change with more production.

Also you wonder how “electric” it is. Automated bin dumpers? AI to find and pick them up?

What is the expected lifetime and the fueling and maintenance costs?
What is the can pickup rate compared to the previous ones?
How often are they out of service?
Are they quieter or just as obnoxiously loud?

Lots of questions and we probably need at least a few dozen of these to operate for a few years to get all the answers.


This article from 2020 has more information:

ODS trials new electric refuse collection vehicle in Oxford

  • One Euro6 diesel engine refuse collection vehicle (RCV) generates 27 tonnes of CO2 per annum. It has an expected life of 10 years, meaning each diesel vehicle will be producing 270 tonnes of C02 over its lifetime.
  • One electric RCV will save approximately £10,000 per annum in fuel and £6,000 per annum in maintenance costs compared to a diesel RCV because it has far fewer parts to maintain.

£16K x 10 = £160K savings

Price differential: £400K - £185K = £215K

Cost of saving 270tCO2 = £55K

Cost per tonne = £204 = $240

Carbon credits in Europe are about 90; California is about $30/tonne



Vancouver is getting one of the first electric firetrucks in the world
Vancouver Fire Rescue Services has placed an order for the Rosenbauer RT, an electric firetruck. It’s expected to arrive in late 2022, says Deputy Chief Tyler Moore, and after firefighters are trained on it locals should see it on the streets in 2023…

A new diesel truck right now would cost the department around $1.2 million Canadian. The Rosenbauer RT will cost $1.2 million USD

The 30% increase is cost is smaller than the increase for UK trash trucks

The city Department of Sanitation’s goals to become carbon neutral are clashing with the limits of electric-powered vehicles.

The department aims to switch all 6,000 vehicles in its fleet from gas to electric as part of the state’s goal to reduce emissions by 2040. But city officials say they haven’t found electric garbage trucks that are powerful enough to plow snow…

“We found that they could not plow the snow effectively – they basically conked out after four hours. We need them to go 12 hours,” Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch told the City Council last month. “Given the current state of the technology, I don’t see today a path forward to fully electrifying the rear loader portion of the fleet by 2040.


Reading the article, it actually sounds more like a hybrid than a true EV.

From DB2’s link…
And if they do need power for an extended period of time there is a range extender, a 350 hp diesel engine from BMW which can refill the batteries faster than driving depletes them. Using that it can go another 300 to 400 km.

The electric system also powers the pump, a 1,500-gallon-per minute system. With the pressure provided by the city’s hydrants, the pump can for three to four hours on battery, or up to nine hours using the range extender; this is all very similar to conventional trucks, Moore says.

There is no time limit on fires. Having the diesel backup sounds like a good idea.

  • Pete

The trucks have been replaced, but still…

Two electric bin lorries bought by City of York Council in a bid to cut carbon emissions were unable to operate when it rained, it has emerged.

Rain caused the wagons to be taken off the city’s roads for up to 26 days a month several times last year. The vehicles stopped working for a combined total of 481 days between January 2021 and November 2022.


Electric buses are expensive as well.

“ESBs [electric school buses] are expensive: Battery-electric versions of small “Type A” school buses cost roughly $250,000, versus $50,000 to $65,000 for diesel; full-size “Type C” or “Type D” buses can range from $320,000 to $440,000 in electric form, versus about $100,000 for diesel.”

$250K/57K = 4.4x
$380/100 = 3.8x

In addition there are additional expenses such as charging facilities and larger tow trucks for the now-heavier buses.


New York abandons electric snow plows
The New York Department of Sanitation three years ago requested several Mack electric trucks. Primarily intended to clean streets and remove garbage, one of these trucks had been fitted with a snow plow as part of an experiment…

The experiment was not successful…The report further detailed that after nearly two hours, the electric plow had to discontinue the route for recharging. While the truck was efficient for garbage collection, its performance significantly dipped when facing snow removal tasks.