Trucks

Tesla co-founder gets trashy with electric garbage truck

Shown off at WasteExpo 2016, its batteries can be recharged by regenerative braking on an onboard turbine.

It looks...like a garbage truck. I don't know what I was expecting.

Mack Trucks

Did you know that WasteExpo is a thing? There are trade shows for practically every industry that exists, including waste management (and not "waste management" in the organized crime sense). At this year's expo, Mack Trucks whipped out a new electric garbage truck featuring a powertrain from a Tesla co-founder.

Based on Mack's LR model of garbage truck, the electric variant is front-wheel drive. The powertrain comes from Wrightspeed, Inc., created by Tesla co-founder Ian Wright. The truck's batteries can be recharged via regenerative braking or a built-in turbine, which runs on either diesel or natural gas.

Considering how often a truck stops and starts on a given rotation, regenerative braking makes a great deal of sense. The turbine is an interesting concept, and one that we've seen before in other newfangled trucks, like the Nikola One concept semi cab. Even with the turbine running, it's bound to be both more efficient and quieter than the current slate of garbage trucks on our roads.

Apparently, Wrightspeed's powertrain can accommodate vehicles up to 66,000 pounds, so it wouldn't be out of the question to see this kit end up in other commercial vehicles, especially if it can deliver on efficiency.

(Hat tip to Trucks.com for this one!)