AB Volvo‘s Mack Trucks unveiled its LR battery electric vehicle (BEV) at WasteExpo 2019. Combining the refuse industry-leading design of the LR model with a fully electric drivetrain, the demonstration model will begin real-world testing in 2020 in the hands of the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY).

Jonathan Randall, Mack Trucks’ North American sales and marketing chief said: “Built on our decades of experience in powertrain innovation, the electric LR delivers a powerful yet quiet, zero-emission solution designed to tackle one of the most demanding applications in one of the largest cities in the world.”

The BEV has an integrated electric powertrain consisting of two 130kW motors producing a combined 496 peak horsepower and 4,051 lb-ft of torque from zero RPM.

Power is sent through a two-speed Powershift transmission and put to the ground by proprietary 52,000lb rear axles. The LR BEV has a copper-coloured bulldog hood ornament, signifying that it’s an electric vehicle.

All accessories, including hydraulic systems for the Heil DuraPack 5000 body, are electrically driven through 12V, 24V and 600V circuits. Four NMC lithium-ion batteries are charged via a 150kW, SAE J1772-compliant charging system.

As one of Mack’s largest customers, DSNY was seen as an ideal choice to test the first LR BEV model in a real-world application. DSNY is the world’s largest sanitation department, with its 10,000 employees collecting more than 12,000 tons of refuse and recyclables each day.

It is also a sustainability innovator and has initiated several programs designed to reduce waste sent to landfills, as well as cut emissions.

Collection vehicles operate on predetermined routes and return home every off shift, helping eliminate concerns about range and finding a location to charge. The frequent starts and stops, which can occur thousands of times per shift, also provide a significant regenerative braking opportunity to recapture energy.

Electrifying trucks – challenges and opportunities