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Silent but smelly: BYD introduces 100-mile electric garbage truck

A 3.9-ton truck that can go 100 miles on a single charge is seriously impressive.


Electrification isn't just for passenger cars. It can help reduce emissions across a variety of industries, from logistics to construction. It will also improve the garbage collection industry, as evidenced by BYD's latest offering.

BYD, a Chinese automaker whose abbreviation stands for Build Your Dreams, unveiled its vision for an electric garbage truck in Phoenix, Arizona. Designed in conjunction with Wayne Engineering (no, not Bruce Wayne), this zero-emissions trash hauler can achieve 100 miles on a single charge, despite a curb weight of 3.9 tons.

The automaker designed the truck's electric drivetrain, but it did not divulge specifics like battery capacity. It does, however, promise regenerative braking, which uses a generator to capture energy during braking and return it to the battery.

BYD promises that its electric garbage truck would reduce per-mile operating costs by 58 percent, but that would come after the purchase price of the truck. Not every municipality is swimming in cash, and big trucks aren't cheap.

BYD isn't the only group to build an electric garbage truck, though. Wrightspeed, which counts a Tesla co-founder among its ranks, also built one. But instead of being purely electric, it relies upon other sources of fuel (natural gas or diesel) to power an onboard range extender that tops off the battery.

There's nothing BYD can do about the smell, but at least an early-morning pickup won't wake people up.