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Sacramento Buying California's First All-Electric Garbage Truck

Courtesy Motiv Power Systems

Sacramento will soon get the first all-electric garbage truck in California, similar to this one in use in Chicago.

Courtesy Motiv Power Systems

The city of Sacramento will soon have the first all-electric garbage truck in California, and only the second in North America.

It's buying the vehicle with help from a state grant, which brings the cost in line with a traditional diesel truck. The city operates about 2,500 vehicles, roughly half of which run on some type of alternative fuel.

Mark Stevens, Sacramento’s fleet manager, said this is part of a pilot program, so he's not sure yet how much the truck will save the city in operating costs.

"At this point, we don't obviously have that data yet, so this is a test for all of us,” Stevens said. “We will know more so once we get it in service and get some data behind that."

Motiv Power Systems, the company that makes the truck, said it could save the city 6,000 gallons of fuel each year.

The new truck's engine doesn't idle during each stop to pick up trash, which is good for air quality and will also make it quieter.

"I think, personally, electricity is the future,” Stevens said. “We have a number of electric vehicles we'll be purchasing this fiscal year as we come up on the new replacement in the city budget."

The truck is expected to arrive in late December.

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