Waste and emission-free cities
Urbaser has just started using in Barcelona the first 100% electric heavy-duty truck in the world. Silent and zero-emission refuse collection is now a reality.
Refuse trucks are undoubtedly the least efficient diesel vehicle around, at least for what they are used. One of these vehicles can make over 1,000 stops a day, exponentially increasing its consumption. It’s not only the amount of time they spend idling but also the fact that the first few gear changes use the most fuel.
Creating a 100% electric refuse truck capable of collecting 27 tonnes of waste was therefore not only necessary to save fuel, but also a technological challenge. The company Urbaser has responded to this challenge with its ‘Urbaelectric’ truck, which is now doing the rounds in Barcelona. This emission-free vehicle will avoid 96 tonnes of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere each year, and is also silent, causing residents no disruption and enabling them to get a good night’s sleep. Given the racket normally associated with refuse trucks, with their loud diesel engines, squeaking brakes, beeping, hissing compressors, etc., this new type of vehicle will be a clean breath of fresh air as the city sleeps.
The truck is able to operate at full capacity for eight hours on a five-hour charge, which equates to emptying between 200 and 250 waste containers on a route of between 100 and 130 km. As expected in an electric vehicle, regenerative braking also enables it to recapture part of the energy released before each stop.
The truck has already started receiving awards; so far the AEDIVE Award Santiago Losada 2017 for e-mobility innovation. And while this project has been carried out more or less behind closed doors, moving a 27-tonne vehicle with an electric motor is a huge technological achievement which many major truck makers are still trying to replicate today.
Ahead of companies such as Tesla
How to build an electric giant before the major companies in the battery sector launch their offerings? The company took an Iveco Stralis 310 truck as the base for the project and joined forces with the Italian company, Rampini, which specialises in vehicle modifications. The effort was undoubtedly worthwhile and indicates that the truck travelling around Barcelona today will be the first of many. Indeed, Ian Wright, former Vice President of development of Tesla and Founder of Wrightspeed, recently told ‘Quartz’ that “within 5 years you’ll only have electric garbage trucks”. He even went on to say online that: “Nobody will buy a diesel engine garbage truck”. It is worth pointing out that Mercedes, Nikola Motors, Siemens, Volkswagen and other large companies are working flat out to launch their own heavy-duty electric giants. Tesla has just unveiled its own, which will be available to order in 2019.