Daimler Announces Production Electric Garbage Truck

Illustration for article titled Daimler Announces Production Electric Garbage Truck
Photo: Daimler
Truck YeahThe trucks are good!

Garbage trucks are amazing. They work in continuous stop and go driving in every possible environment, from incredible desert heat to being cold-soaked in temperatures so low that it doesn’t matter if we’re talking Celcius or Fahrenheit. They’re driven on icy roads with the tires kicking salt and rocks up all over the complex hydraulically powered mechanical arms that reach out and grab trash cans no matter the weight or orientation on the curb. And they do it over and over, day after day, week after week. Some of them can even eat a Pontiac Grand Prix.


They’re amazing machines, and also great candidates for electrification. They frequently need a lot of low-speed torque. There are electric motors powering hydraulic pumps that move all sorts of arms and whatnot. They drive a known distance before being parked at a central location. And of course, all that stop and go driving could be more efficient with regenerative braking.

EVs are also quieter, which would be nice, and of course, they would be locally emissions-free. Garbage trucks are really one of the best candidates for electrification.

So it only makes sense that Daimler is developing an electric garbage truck. The truck will be based on their eActros electric truck.

In the most press-releasy jargon possible, Gesa Reimelt, Head of E-Mobility Group Daimler Trucks & Buses, commented on the leveraging of an existing platform, saying, “With our global platform strategy, we are applying uniform technologies and vehicle architectures also for electric vehicles worldwide, and can accelerate development enormously through synergies.”

Um, okay. Synergize that truck into a garbage collector.

The eActros has a 250 kW motor fed by a 240 kWh battery, presumably this will be shared with the garbage truck variant. Customer testing will start next year with series-production beginning in 2022.

Matt Brown is an automotive engineer, writer, and builder of unconventional things. Mostly vehicles.


Garbage trucks, school buses, and postal trucks have always seemed to me to be the best candidates for electrification. Stop-and-go is great for regenerative braking, largely fixed routes mean range anxiety isn’t a thing, and the fact that they return to a depot where they’re parked overnight makes charging a much simpler issue. Reducing the amount of noise they cause and pollution released in their areas of operation is also a nice benefit.

The rough standardization of truck frame rail widths and boxiness of these kinds of vehicles also means swappable batteries could be much more plausible than in passenger car applications, so transit buses and other 24/7 operations could still potentially be electrified as well.