New York’s $523,000 ‘Carbon Neutral’ Electric Garbage Trucks Can’t Handle Winter Weather

New York’s plan to have its fleet of sanitation trucks become fully electrified by 2040 has been stalled by the fact that the electric vehicles cannot handle winter temperatures.

The city’s Department of Sanitation has previously aimed to switch all 6,000 vehicles in its fleet to electric power within the next few years.

New York differs from many other major cities in delegating its plowing duties to the Department of Sanitation, rather than dedicated snow plow trucks designed for that purpose.

However, the Gothamist reported this week that “The city Department of Sanitation’s goals to become carbon neutral are clashing with the limits of electric-powered vehicles.”

The sanitation department has ordered seven electric garbage trucks, custom-made by Mack and costing more than $523,000 each.

“We found that they could not plow the snow effectively – they basically conked out after four hours. We need them to go 12 hours,” Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch told the City Council. “Given the current state of the technology, I don’t see today a path forward to fully electrifying the rear loader portion of the fleet by 2040.”

She added, “We can’t really make significant progress in converting our rear loader fleet until the snow challenges are addressed.”

The electric trucks have had issues running for more than four hours before needing a charge.

Biden administration Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg contrasted the “pain” of most Americans driving gasoline-powered cars that are affected by high petroleum prices against the “benefit” for those who can afford expensive electric vehicles during House testimony in July.

“The more pain we are all experiencing from the high price of gas, the more benefit there is for those who can access electric vehicles,” Buttigieg said.

Buttigieg also broke into a fit of laughter, adding, “Of course – no, no, that’s what you heard me say. I know you want me to say it so bad but honestly sir, what we’re saying is we could have no pain at all by making EVs cheaper for everyone.”

This news and commentary by Gabriel Keane originally appeared on Valiant News.


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