First electric waste collection truck for SA

By: Rob McKay

East Waste sees range of cost savings in move

First electric waste collection truck for SA
An image of East Waste’s electric truck


Adelaide waste and resource manager East Waste will in December commission South Australia’s first fully electric-powered waste collection truck.

The move fulfils the promise of a policy initiative that began 18 months ago that also looked at CNG.

East Waste chairman Brian Cunningham says the new truck will replace a diesel-powered truck and, with zero emissions, "remove from our suburban streets the polluting equivalent of 20 vehicles generating 63 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year".

The truck is the first in a fleet replacement program and is supplied by Superior Pak, using SEA Electric drivetrain technology and an Iveco chassis.

It is valued around $550,000, which is about $150,000 more than a diesel version.

East Waste believes the extra investment will return financial savings along with a raft of environmental benefits.

Read how East Waste came to drive down the EV path, here

"This is much more than a terrific environmental initiative by East Waste," Cunningham says.

"It will create financial gain to better manage the cost of kerbside collections of recyclable resources and waste.

"We conservatively project that our new electric truck will save in excess of $220,000 over the seven-year life of a diesel truck.

"Even with the additional $150,000 purchase price, that is a $70,000 nett saving."

East Waste argues that cost savings will be even greater:

  • if, as expected, diesel prices continue to climb
  • with significantly fewer moving parts than a conventional engine, the new truck is likely to last longer than the seven years of conventional trucks.
  • maintenance will be reduced by at least two-thirds.
  • the truck’s drivetrain generates electricity each time it reduces speed, returning charge to the batteries and reducing wear and tear; especially to brake pads.

"Residents in suburban streets will fall in love with our new truck without realising it," Cunningham says.

"With reduced air pollution comes the removal of noise pollution as the truck travels from house to house on bin collection day. It is silent."

East Waste will install a 30kW solar system at its Ottaway depot to provide renewable energy to charge the truck’s batteries every day.

"We are confident that electric technology can transform the East Waste fleet," East Waste CEO Rob Gregory tells ATN.

"Advances in battery technology may, in coming years, enable us to replace our entire fleet of 40 trucks.

"East Waste replaces its trucks at a rate of about five a year.

"We cannot, at this stage, say how many of our fleet might ultimately be electric.

"With respect to CNG, East Waste continuously considers and reviews for its fleet and activities the application of new technologies and innovation. CNG is in that mix."

East Waste is a subsidiary of seven metropolitan Adelaide councils; the cities of Burnside, Campbelltown, Mitcham, Norwood, Payneham & St Peters and Prospect, the Town of Walkerville and the Adelaide Hills Council.


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