An electric garbage truck is currently rolling through Canberra’s streets as part of a trial for clean and quiet waste collection.
The roar of the truck engine in the morning might be the cue to leap out of bed and run the bins out to the end of the driveway, but residents won’t be getting so much warning from this converted Hino.
Minister for Transport and City Services Chris Steel said the government is assessing how the ACT can move to zero emissions trucks for waste collection.
“Zero emissions technology has advanced significantly for heavy vehicles, and we want to be ready to bring on new waste trucks to provide cleaner, quieter waste and recycling services to the Canberra community,” he said.
“This two-week trial will provide an understanding of the features and benefits of using zero emissions technology for heavy commercial vehicles.”
The truck started out in life as a conventional diesel-powered Hino FE 1426, but was converted to electric power by the Melbourne-based companies Bucher Municipal and SEA Electric.
Bucher Municipal provides specialist fittings and equipment for urban service vehicles across the world, while SEA Electric has made a name for itself retrofitting electric drivetrains into existing Hino vehicles.
Bucher Municipal Regional sales manager Darren Gear described their Bucher UR11 rear loader fitted to the Hino FE chassis as “the cutting edge of EV technology”.
“Our company believes in solving challenges with key partnerships through technology and we strive to develop new equipment that meet environmental outcomes for now and into the future,” he said.
When empty, the truck has a range of 190 km. It can be charged to full within eight hours.
The vehicle will be based at the government’s Allara Street depot in Civic, which has already been fitted with the necessary charging infrastructure following an earlier electric tipper truck trial.
Mr Steel said tackling climate change in the ACT means electrifying private and public transport “as soon as we can”.
“We’ve already kick-started this transition with 12 battery electric buses joining Transport Canberra’s fleet this year and a further 90 e-buses on the way.”
The ACT Emergency Services Agency (ESA) is also expected to take delivery of Australia’s first plug-in diesel-electric hybrid fire truck soon.
In November last year, Canberra’s garbage trucks were at the centre of a $19,800 deal with tech start-up Frontline Data Systems, designed to combat the rise of potholes in the suburbs.
Under the pilot program, Suez garbage trucks were equipped with cameras that scanned the road as the trucks drive along each day on their pre-assigned household collection routes. The data was then uploaded at the end of each day and fed back to Roads ACT repair crews, who could then prioritise their work schedules to ensure the most dangerous problems got fixed first.
According to Transport Canberra and City Services, the results of this trial are still being evaluated.