From start to finish, the first-ever electric garbage truck took over a year for Loadmaster in Norway, MI to complete, but on Tuesday, it was finally finished and is now heading to Illinois.
â??The city of Chicago is trying to develop a greener image, and they're going to start in their refuse department,â?? said Loadmaster President, Dave Brisson.
In this case, â??Going Greenâ?? means going from diesel to electric in a vibrant baby-blue truck.
â??It would generally be a diesel-powered truck, but in place of the diesel engine, there's a large stack of liquid nickel batteries,â?? Brisson said.
Loadmaster teamed up with Motiv Power Systems out of California to construct the finished product.
â??Motiv is the developer of the electric portion of this vehicle,â?? Brisson said. Theyâ??re in charge of installing the liquid nickel batteries onto what's called a chassis, which is basically the base of the vehicle.
â??The great thing about the Motiv technology is that, again, the technology makes it modular,â?? said Senior Mechanical Engineer with Motiv Power Systems, Daniel Pederson. â??That means you can take any battery and put it on any chassis; that means you can use it for a garbage truck, a shuttle bus, a school bus.â??
If the electric truck turns out to be successful in Chicago, the city says they'll buy 19 more of them from Loadmaster. Since it's the first ever of its kind, it can be expected to have a pretty hefty price tag.
â??This first truck is somewhere around $1.2 million. The entire project for 20 of them was, I believe, about a $13.4 million project,â?? Brisson said.
â??Itâ??s quite impressive; we're proud of it,â?? said Loadmaster Vice President, Terrance J. Barnes. â??Weâ??re proud to be the first electric garbage truck in the United States.â??
â??Itâ??s fantastic! Itâ??s always wonderful. As an engineer, you work on something, a concept; you work on drawings, the design, and to see it all come together is really great,â?? Pederson said.