As sports cars, delivery trucks, and even buses go electric, one vehicle has kept rumbling along on fossil fuel: the good old garbage truck.
That's about to change. This summer, 17 trash trucks in Northern California will be powered by electricity, with an onboard diesel generator for backup. They won't look any different—the new engines are going into existing chassis—but they will be quieter and cleaner.
The trucks will be among the first to use a system from Tesla co-founder Ian Wright. He says his new company, Silicon Valley-based Wrightspeed, is the first to extend the range of an electric engine by using a highly efficient turbine generator—a smaller version of what's found in jet engines and power plants.