Hamilton's Civil Contracts has introducted an electric rubbish compacting truck to clear all the rubbish bins in the central business district and fringe areas of the city every day of the week, reports New Zealand based media house Stuff. It is estimated the 10-tone truck will save around 14,000kg CO2-equivilent each year. The truck was first used in Auckland before making its way down State Highway One and has now been based in Hamilton base for a couple of months.
Auckland-based manufacturer MANCO said the truck is worth around $300,000 - about $100,000 more than a regular diesel rubbish truck, but pays for itself in lower running costs over time.
Hamilton Civil Contracts manager Andrew Voyce is still working those out. "It's yet to be determined although the first month we had it our power bill jumped up a lot. "But we need to get a few months power bills to figure out what it costs"
The truck is used seven days a week with the night shift which starts at 11pm. The truck is then plugged in at about 7.30am and charged during the day. "It has a range of about 200 km so it does everything we need to do here, it has half a charge when it comes back in the morning." The truck, a 10-tonne Manco Tom Cat - is a lot quieter than the regular diesel trucks.
"It's quiet so residents and visitors are not disturbed by it as it runs at night in the CBD. It's not dead silent but it's not like a normal diesel-powered truck." Voyce doesn't think it's lack of noise will create any more safety concerns for pedestrians than any other electric vehicle. "I don't think it's dangerous but I guess if you don't look there is a possibility you could step out in front of it because you don't hear it coming but that is a possibility for all electric vehicles though." The company, which does litter collection, road sweeping, bin emptying, stumping and steam cleaning around the city they eventually would like to have their entire fleet as EVs.