Wrightspeed, a leading manufacturer of range-extended electric vehicle (REV) powertrains for heavy-duty applications, and The Ratto Group, a Santa Rosa-based refuse, yard waste and recycling collection and processing company, have unveiled a new era for the global refuse and transportation industries: the first commercial application of a range-extended electric refuse truck.
With the support of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, communities in Sonoma and surrounding counties will be serviced by a fleet of clean, quiet trucks from The Ratto Group, powered by Wrightspeed's range-extended powertrain, The Route™. Designed to deliver economic, environmental and performance benefits in both OEM-installed new vehicles and existing fleet retrofits, The Route is a scalable solution that has been recognized by The State of California for its ability to help meet progressive climate and air quality mandates. Wrightspeed was awarded $7M in grants by the California Energy Commission to further develop the technology for broad-based adoption.
"Today is a milestone for Sonoma County in terms of improving local air quality and upholding environmental standards," said the Sonoma County Chairman of the Board, Efren Carrillo. "As a government entity, we have led with innovative programs to reduce greenhouse gases, from the Sonoma County Energy Independence Program, to Sonoma Clean Power and Evergreen, to a nationally recognized Green Fleet, and the Water Agency's Carbon Free Water program, and our Regional Climate Protection Authority. Sonoma County citizens have shown their high interest and support for innovative solutions that benefit our greenhouse gas reduction goals. We applaud Wrightspeed and The Ratto Group for their commitment to innovation and for blazing a path for the future of solid and compostable waste, as well as recycling in Sonoma County and beyond."
The Ratto Group's fleet of refuse, recycling and compostable yard waste trucks services over 140,000 customers in Sonoma County, Mariposa County, the City of Novato, and West Marin. After today's unveiling, Ratto and Wrightspeed will roll out more than 15 Route-equipped trucks over the next 12 months to meet community needs. Capable of powering vehicles weighing up to 66,000 pounds up grades as steep as 40%, the Route provides the refuse market with the power-to-weight ratio needed for collection duty cycles. Wrightspeed's patented Geared Traction Drive digitally drives each rear wheel of the vehicle, providing the slip control needed to operate in tough road conditions.
"In a business that puts a premium on re-use, this represents the ultimate in recycling. We're literally recycling the recycling truck," said Lou Ratto, Chief Operating Officer of The Ratto Group. "By integrating Wrightspeed's powertrains into our existing commercial fleet, we're initiating a progressive solid waste and recyclables collection strategy that will maximize the life of our vehicles, cut fuel consumption and emissions, and have a positive environmental impact on our service areas."
"As an early adopter of our powertrain technology, Lou Ratto has solidified Sonoma County as a leader in pioneering new technologies that will improve and preserve the region for future generations," said Ian Wright, Founder and CEO of Wrightspeed. "We're proud to collaborate with Lou and his team and to establish our powertrain technology as the economical and environmental choice for cleaner, quieter and more efficient communities."
Source and top image: Wrightspeed
Learn more at the next leading event on the topic: Electric Vehicles: Everything is Changing. Europe 2017 on 10 - 11 May 2017 in Berlin, Germany hosted by IDTechEx.