China’s BYD Company Ltd. is already the largest manufacturer of battery-electric automobiles and buses, and now it can add sanitation trucks to the list.
This should give Warren Buffet some measure of satisfaction as his Berkshire Hathaway investment firm plunked down $230 million for a 10 percent stake in BYD in 2008.
The fleet of electric trucks, a partnership between BYD and the Beijing Environmental Sanitation Engineering Group, consists of 26 different models, with load capacities ranging from one to 32 tons.
Beyond collecting, transporting and disposing garbage, operations include street sweeping, water trucks, as well as refrigerated transportation for hazardous waste.
With the launch of the trucks, which BYD is calling the world’s largest electric sanitation fleet, Beijing Environmental is planning to replace 45 percent of its current diesel fleet with pure electric vehicles before the end of this year, and 100 percent by the end of 2017.
This new fleet joins 22 BYD electric 16-ton street sweeping trucks that have been in use for nearly a year.
Employing BYD’s 350 kilowatt-hour iron-phosphate battery that fully charges in 3.5 hours gives the trucks seven hours of use with a 250 mile driving range.
With its vehicle to vehicle (V2V) feature, a truck can be used as a charging unit to serve other trucks in need of charging, eliminating “range anxiety.”
An electric integrated axle assembly combines the driving motor with the automatic gearbox and drive axle, improving transmission efficiency. The design allows for additional batteries.
The trucks are equipped with cameras that grant a 360° view, so that the driver can monitor the entire operational process. GPS keeps track of each vehicle’s location.
In addition to the environmental benefits, the operational cost of an 8-ton pure electric truck is nearly half of its diesel counterpart.
Earlier this year, China’s State Council demanded that larger fleets of electric sanitation and logistics trucks be adopted.