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January 9, 2020 6:00 PM, EST

Mack Unveils LR Electric Model for New York City Department of Sanitation

The Mack LR will be sent to Brooklyn, N.Y., in the second quarter of the year, Mack officials said. (Jim Stinson/Transport Topics)

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ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Mack Trucks has unveiled a commercial-ready version of its new Class 8 LR Electric sanitation truck that will soon enter test duty in New York City.

The full-electric truck will begin testing in Brooklyn, N.Y., in the second quarter of the year, where it will be put into garbage-collection duty by the New York City Department of Sanitation., Mack officials told Transport Topics during a media event.

“We look forward to testing our latest powertrain innovation with DSNY as they put the LR Electric through a rigorous test,” Jonathan Randall, Mack’s senior vice president for North American sales and marketing, said in a statement.

Mack Trucks logo

Mack believes the trucks could help New York City reach its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2035.

“We’re looking at all kinds of technologies to help us achieve that reduction,” said Rocky DiRico, deputy commissioner of the Department of Sanitation.

New York City’s sanitation department is the world’s largest, according to the city, collecting more than 12,000 tons of refuse and recyclables each day. Mack noted that it already supplies New York with much of its heavy-duty collection fleet.

The Mack LR is a rear-load model — the type where sanitation workers toss bags into a rear collection area — as opposed to a front-loading model, which would lift large commercial-sized bins.

The New York sanitation department will be Mack’s first LR customer, although no orders have been taken yet, Mack officials told TT.

new hood ornament

The LR will have its own copper-colored bulldog hood ornament to signify its fully electric driveline. (Jim Stinson/Transport Topics)

The zero-emission truck is powered by two 130-kilowatt motors that deliver a combined 496 peak horsepower from zero rpm, Mack said. A two-speed Mack Powershift transmission and proprietary 52,000-pound rear axles complete the integrated powertrain. Mack said. The truck features four NMC lithium-ion batteries, and all accessories are electrically driven through 12-volt, 24-volt and 600-volt circuits. Mack officials said the LR hood will feature a copper-colored bulldog hood ornament to denote its fully electric driveline.

The Mack news arrived on the heels of the Jan. 9 introduction at CES of an all-electric refuse truck from Peterbilt Motors Co. The manufacturer displayed its Model 520EV battery-electric refuse truck at the annual Las Vegas event.

Back in 2018, BYD Motors Inc. put an electric refuse truck into service in California, and today has five models operating in the United States. Data collected about these trucks’ performance will help improve future models, according to John Gerra, senior director of business development for BYD.

“We have the manufacturing capacity (for more),” Gerra told TT. “The challenge is less the state of technology, but more the confidence of the market.”

Gerra told TT that municipalities want the zero-emission, quieter trucks, while also having the same reliability as diesel models.

Mack Trucks are sold and serviced through a distribution network in more than 45 countries. Mack’s trucks, diesel engines and transmissions sold in North America are assembled in the United States.

Mack Trucks, based in Greensboro, N.C., has its main plant in Allentown. It is part of the Volvo Group, which manufactures trucks, buses, construction equipment, and marine and industrial engines.

The Volvo Group, based in Gothenburg, Sweden, has almost 100,000 employees and has production facilities in 18 countries. Volvo sells its products in more than 190 markets. In 2018, Volvo Group’s sales amounted to about $43 billion, according to company officials.

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