Autocar all-electric refuse trucks put to the test

By Becky Schultz08 August 2022

Autocar’s All-Electric E-ACX with cover removed to display one of three high voltage battery packs. (Photo: Autocar)

Autocar LLC, a manufacturer of specialized severe-duty vocational trucks, has built and is testing the first two alpha units of the E-ACX electric cabover refuse trucks featuring an all-electric powertrain. The E-ACX-64 alpha units are automated side loaders, with the “alpha1” featuring a Heil Command SST body and the “alpha2” utilizing a New Way Sidewinder 3.0 body.

“The E-ACTT team that developed our all-electric terminal tractor gets a lot of credit for leading the BEV development and bringing this technology to severe-duty standards,” said Timothy Thornton, vice president and general manager refuse at Autocar. “The E-ACX is another step in our goal to help fleets achieve zero emissions while not compromising on performance or durability.”

The E-ACTT all-electric terminal tractor was launched in May 2021, with an electric powertrain designed in collaboration with Vorza’s electric fleet vehicle development team to ensure its powertrain would be capable of handling the rigorous demands of semi-trailer yard spotting and container handling.

Because refuse trucks are also subject to severe conditions – including a variety of climates, cycling through thousands of stops and starts a day and moving in and out of landfills and transfer stations – the battery-electric vehicles are undergoing a strict validation testing process to ensure they can handle the same challenges and requirements as their diesel and CNG counterparts, said Autocar. The company is partnering with select customers to facilitate validation tests under real work conditions to verify performance metrics and receive operator input.

“Our process at Autocar is to design trucks that exceed the standards of our customers, so we are very excited to begin testing an all-electric ACX that highlights our engineers and technicians hard work, and input from customers,” said Thornton.

The vehicles will be available for pre-orders in 2023 with limited production starting in 2024.

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