VIDEO: Chicago’s electric refuse truck, first in the country

By Jennifer Leonard

Chicago is the first city – not only in the United States but in North America – to own an electric refuse truck. Drive Clean Chicago, an incentive program funded by The Department of Transportation, is trying to make Chicago more sustainable by helping the city implement hybrid and electric vehicles into its transportation system.

Drive Clean Chicago works with Chicago fleet owners and offers voucher programs to make the purchase of alternative fuel vehicles more accessible and affordable.

New York and Atlanta are looking into adopting an electric vehicle in their fleets as well. For many other cities also interested in the technology, an electric refuse truck is still not affordable.

The electric prototype was a $1.2 million investment for Chicago. For now, the truck remains a single piece. But with an increase in production comes a decrease of the market price. And the hope is that this will allow more city governments to follow Chicago’s attempt at creating a more sustainable environment for its residents.


Photo at top: Chicago’s electric refuse truck (Jennifer Leonard/Medill)