Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on April 18, 2008
For those of you who can sleep late every morning except on the day the noisy trash collector thunders down your street, you might want to consider moving to Sweden. Because that’s where Volvo is testing their new FE Hybrid Electric garbage truck. Not only does it provide increased fuel efficiency, it’s virtually noiseless.
“The future of refuse handling is already here,” claims Volvo’s press release, which touts the FE as “a perfect fit for ‘stop and go’ applications.” Like Volvo’s FM Hybrid, the FE is equipped with a 7-liter diesel engine coupled with an I-SAM (Integrated Starter Alternator) electric motor. The energy created by braking charges the lithium-ion batteries, which run the vehicle from startup to a speed of approximately 20 km per hour. Which does seem a perfect fit when you consider that the garbage truck simply goes from one house to the next and stops. Removing fossil fuel from the vehicle’s constant idling will cut gas and emissions 20 to 30 percent, they say.
Add in the “near noiseless” factor and it sounds like Volvo may have a winner. Time will tell. If the tests prove successful, Volvo hopes to begin producing them for mass use next year.
The only downside I can see is for people like me who always forget what day the trash is picked up and rely on the sound of the truck to remind me. At first, I think it’s an earthquake and then I realize it’s garbage day, so I run outside and try to drag it all to the curb before the truck reaches my house.
But seeing as how we all have to make our sacrifices for the planet, I guess I could try remembering to put the bins out the night before.