Chinese made electric trash trucks make debut in Brazil

World Today

A cutting-edge automotive advance can be seen rolling down the streets of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. But it won’t turn heads. It’s not flashy or sleek. Still, there’s plenty reason for the city’s newest trash truck to gain admirers.

It’s 100-percent electric, the first of 200 on order from Chinese vehicle maker BYD. CGTN’s Lucrecia Franco has more.

It looks like a conventional garbage truck, but this one is all-electric – the first of its kind operating in Brazil and the one chosen as the best alternative to diesel trucks.

Manufactured by Chinese company BYD, the truck is being used to collect and compact organic waste at Cadeg, Rio de Janeiro`s biggest distribution center for agriculture products.

“We are providing a kick start to generate less toxic gases with the use of this truck. We have also installed the biggest solar roof in Latin America with five thousand solar panels that not only charge the truck but make significant electricity savings for us,” said Andre Lobo, director of Cadeg.

The truck was delivered earlier this year, but just recently received a license plate to circulate in the city Every day it covers a three-kilometer route between the market and a waste-processing plant in the city’s north zone.

It takes about two hours to fully charge the truck. Then it’s good to run for eight to ten hours. Even better is the promise of this single truck to cut CO2 emissions by some fourteen tons per month.

A traditional diesel truck produces four kilos of CO2 per liter of fuel. This Chinese vehicle just needs a battery pack that can last up to thirty years.

The all-electric truck does cost more upfront four times that of a traditional vehicle. But officials at Rio’s biggest waste management company, Clean Ambiental, say they’re investing in the Chinese model with an eye to the future.

“In the long term it is cost-effective for our kind of operation, and that is why we intend to renew our fleet of 40 trucks with the all-electric BYD models,” said Guilherme Almeida, CFO of Clean Ambiental.

BYD established itself in the state of Sao Paulo in 2015, opened a solar power plant and an assembly line for all sorts of electric vehicles. And the electric garbage trucks are set to make history in Brazil.

“It is going to have the largest fleet outside of China operating electric trucks and we believe the trucks are going to be major solution for the big Brazilian cities to reduce pollution, reduce noise, reduce operational cost, so we believe the market for electric trucks is going to grow a lot in Brazil this year,” said Adalberto Maluf, director of marketing and sustainability at BYD.

Two hundred garbage trucks in all were ordered for Brazil… evidence of the growing interest here in addressing climate change.

For now it is only Rio de Janeiro that can boast of the all-electric Chinese truck in operation. The others are slated for gradual delivery through 2023.