Mack LR Electric is Maine's first electric garbage truck

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Portland Maine's Mack LR Electric refuse truck
Portland, Maine has a goal to run on 100% clean energy by 2040. The city is also determined to improve air quality and transition from diesel to electric vehicles to reduce emissions.
Mack Trucks

The city of Portland, Maine has just taken delivery of its first-ever battery-electric garbage truck, a Class 8 Mack LR Electric. The purchase was partially made possible thanks to a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Diesel Emissions Reduction Act as well as the Maine Department of EPA. 

[Related: White House unlocking $1.5 billion to support zero-emission trucks]

Portland has a goal to run on 100% clean energy by 2040, so this purchase is just the start of a longer procurement process. 

“This is a significant step forward in electrifying the City’s vehicle fleet,” said City Manager Danielle West. “It represents a bold leap forward in sustainable transportation, offering an electric solution that significantly reduces carbon emissions and environmental impact.”

This Mack LR Electric is equipped with a Heil 25 cubic-yard rear loader body specifically for refuse duties. The new LR Electric comes standard with a 376 kWh battery and dual electric motors which translates to a total of 448 horsepower and 4,051 lb-ft of instant torque.

The vehicle's power comes courtesy of four NMC (Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide) lithium-ion batteries. They're charged through a 150 kW, SAE J1772-compliant system and provide power for all of the vehicle's onboard accessories through 12V, 24V and 600V circuits. There's also a two-stage regenerative braking system to help recapture energy from the vehicle's hundreds of daily stops with an increasing load.

To help achieve peak operation conditions and maximize uptime, the LR Electric and its batteries will be supported by Mack GuardDog Connect, Mack’s integrated telematics solution. This connected service monitors overall battery health and performance and, equally critically, checks for fault codes and defects reported by the battery and electric components of the energy storage system. 

“The City of Portland’s choice to purchase the Mack LR Electric refuse truck to help meet its sustainability goals speaks to the partnership approach that allowed Mack and the city to implement the needed ecosystem of service and support for electric vehicles,” said Jonathan Randall, president of Mack Trucks North America. “Mack is excited to deliver the first electrified refuse vehicle to Maine.”

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Last month, Hockessin, Delaware became the first city in that state to also take delivery of a Class 8 Mack LR Electric, also for waste management collection. 

Jay Traugott has covered the automotive and transportation sector for over a decade and now serves as Senior Editor for Clean Trucking. He holds a drifting license and has driven on some of the world's best race tracks, including the Nurburgring and Spa. He lives near Boulder, Colorado, and spends his free time snowboarding, climbing, and hiking. He can be reached at [email protected].

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The following survey was sent as a link in an email cover message in February 2023 to the newsletter lists for Overdrive and CCJ. After approximately two weeks, a total of 176 owner-operators under their own authority, 113 owner-operators leased or assigned to a carrier and 82 fleet executives and 36 fleet employees from fleets with 10 or more power units had completed and submitted the questionnaire for a total of 407 qualified responses. Cross-tabulations based on respondent type are provided for each question when applicable.
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