Mack Trucks has delivered a pre-production Mack LR Electric model to Republic Services to begin in-service trials in real-world refuse routes. Mack says it will use what it learns from the trials to further refine the LR Electric as it prepares to accept orders for the truck in Q4 of 2020, with production beginning in 2021.
Republic Services has a fleet of more than 16,000 trucks that operates in 41 states. The truck will go into service for Republic in Hickory, N.C.
“We want to take a leadership role in electrification,” said Shane Walker, area president for the Mid-Atlantic region at Republic Services. “We know it’s good for our business. Our customers share our values for a cleaner safer fleet that is better for the environment.”
The LR Electric is based on Mack’s existing LR refuse truck, but with an electric battery and motors taking the place of the typical diesel engine. Specs for the truck include two 130-kW motors that deliver a combined 496 peak HP and 4,051 lb.-ft. of torque available from zero RPM. A two-speed Mack Powershift transmission harnesses that power and puts it to the ground through Mack’s S522R 52,000-lb. rear axles. The truck features four NMC lithium-ion batteries (lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide) that are charged via a 50kW, SAE J1772-compliant charging system. All accessories on the Mack LR Electric model are electrically driven through 12V, 24V and 600V circuits.
“We have a proven fully electric powertrain engineered inside a proven vehicle that integrates well with the body equipment required for collection,” said Jonathan Randall, senior vice president of North American sales and commercial operations for Mack Trucks. “We also have an ecosystem that will be ready to support the LR Electric models.”
In a Q&A following the announcement of the delivery of the truck to Republic, Randall also noted that fleets who order an electric truck such as the LR Electric can “expect to see good savings in maintenance costs, even just the brakes alone thanks to regenerative braking.”
Mack did not go into details on the weight of the truck, but noted that the truck will be “a little bit heavier” than its diesel counterpart.
Additionally, with the very quiet operation of the electric trucks, some customers are installing their own noise generating devices, and Mack says this is something they are looking at installing at the factory level.