LAS VEGAS. In the first evaluation of this technology for a Class 8 refuse vehicle, Mack Trucks is showcasing a Mack LR model retrofitted with Wrightspeed's The Route 1000 powertrain here at WasteExpo 2016.
Designed as an alternative driveline to conventional piston engine and transmission systems, The Route is an electric vehicle powertrain that can provide "unlimited range and reduced fuel costs for today's refuse, delivery and mass transit markets," according to Wrightspeed.
"Mack is the refuse industry leader because we're not afraid to pioneer new ideas and innovations," said Dennis Slagle, president of Mack Trucks. "Wrightspeed shares this pioneering spirit, which is why we're eager to evaluate their Route powertrain technology."
The Wrightspeed Route powertrain uses electricity to deliver 100% of the vehicle's propulsion. The company says the system features an advanced, plug-in-capable battery pack that provides a range of up to 24 miles on electric power. When the batteries' charge is depleted, Wrightspeed's 80 kW "fuel agnostic" Fulcrum turbine generator recharges the batteries, enabling Route-equipped vehicles to have unlimited range with refueling, Wrightspeed says.
Additional recharging comes from the Route's 730 kW regenerative braking system, which generates electricity as the vehicle comes to a stop. Regenerative braking helps Route-equipped vehicles cut down on maintenance costs, Wrighspeed notes, "as braking force — and subsequent brake wear — is significantly decreased."
Electricity from the battery pack powers four electric motors, which the company says allows the Route to power vehicles up to 66,000 lbs. on grades as steep as 40%. With full torque available from zero rpm, Wrightspeed says The Route provides a driving experience comparable to diesel-powered trucks. Wrightspeed counts FedEx, Ratto Group and New Zealand Bus among early customers.
"At Wrightspeed, we're focused on designing the best-performing powertrains for forward-looking OEMs and fleet operators," said Ian Wright, CEO and founder of Wrightspeed. "Mack represents one of the most innovative manufacturers in the refuse industry, and we're proud to showcase our technology alongside their Mack LR model."