Commercial Vehicles

Oshkosh is developing all-electric waste trucks


US waste disposal company Republic Services announces a long-term deal with Oshkosh Corporation. It will start with two electric recycling and waste truck prototypes this autumn and expects EVs to represent half of its new truck purchases in the next five years.

Republic Services operates 17,000 trucks, making it the fifth largest vocational fleet in the USA, with an unknown number of electric collection trucks operating in two states. While the company runs a multi-vendour strategy for electrification, Oshkosh’s McNeilus business unit is Republic’s longtime provider of recycling and waste collection truck bodies.

Oshkosh engineers were charged with developing the waste truck for Republic with input from the company. The resulting prototypes of two automated side-load prototypes for residential collections will launch in Phoenix this autumn, with additional vehicles planned in 2024 for locations including Santa Ana and Carlsbad in California and the Portland, Oregon area.

Republic adds the recycling and waste collection business was well-suited for electric vehicles, with trucks operating consistent routes and returning to a base to recharge overnight. The new truck further leveraged Oshkosh’s experience with purpose-built heavy-duty EVs.

Oshkosh is a commercial vehicle manufacturer and also delivers military vehicles via Oshkosh Defense – however, these are primarily fuelled by fossil fuels. The company has also been in the news regarding the US Postal Service’s most reluctant ambition to decarbonize the fleet.

Coming back to Republic Services, not many details have been revealed about the incoming electric trucks. Republic mentions it asked Oshkosh to design the chassis and body as a single unit, maximizing interior space and creating a unique, streamlined exterior. Safety features include an enlarged windshield for improved visibility, 360-degree cameras, lane-departure sensors and automated braking.

John Pfeifer, president and CEO of Oshkosh Corporation, said he was pleased Republic saw the value in this “first-of-its-kind integrated, electric refuse collection vehicle”.

Jon Vander Ark, president and chief executive officer of Republic Services, added the engagement with Oshkosh would “accelerate the transition of our fleet while providing advanced safety features and technology”.

The company set a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35% by 2030 and says it was the only US environmental services provider to have its emissions reduction target approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).


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