Mack Trucks announced that the City of Ocala, Florida, recently purchased two Mack LR® Electric refuse vehicles to add to its solid waste management fleet. Mack made the announcement during WasteExpo 2022 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada. “It’s no surprise that a progressive operation like the City of Ocala, a longtime Mack customer, is ready to deploy two Mack LR Electric trucks to help them achieve their environmental goals, as well as to reduce the noise during refuse collection,” said Jonathan Randall, Mack Trucks senior vice president of sales and commercial operations. “The LR Electric features battery-electric technology that offers zero emissions and a quiet ride, as well as all of the amenities of our popular diesel-powered LR model.”

The City of Ocala, population 65,000, operates 40 refuse vehicles in its fleet, collecting both residential and commercial refuse. About 70 percent of the City’s waste collection is on commercial routes, utilizing front-loaders, and 30 percent is residential, using automated side-loaders. The Mack LR Electric models will do both. “We chose the Mack LR Electric for numerous reasons,” said John King, fleet and facilities director for the City of Ocala. “Mack has an excellent reputation for building refuse vehicles, so they fully understand the complexities associated with the collection of garbage and waste disposal. We have a longtime relationship with Mack and have many diesel-powered Mack trucks in our fleet, so our technicians are familiar with the vehicles. Further, Mack has been producing trucks for more than 100 years, so it’s natural that they would successfully progress to electric vehicles.”

The next generation Mack LR Electric, introduced in March 2022, offers 42 percent more energy and a standard 376kWh total battery capacity for increased range between charges. Twin electric motors with 448 continuous horsepower and a 4,051 lb.-ft. of peak torque output from zero RPM power the vehicle. A copper-colored Bulldog on the cab denotes the all-electric drivetrain. Four NMC (Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide) lithium-ion batteries, charged through a 150 kW, SAE J1772-compliant charging system, powers the vehicle, while providing power for all onboard accessories through 12V, 24V and 600V circuits. The two-stage regenerative braking system helps recapture energy from the hundreds of stops the LR Electric truck makes each day with an increasing load.

The Mack LR Electric may be fitted with equipment bodies from numerous manufacturers based on the unique needs of each Mack customer. The same driver/passenger side driving configurations, seating choices and door options are available for the LR Electric as for the diesel-powered Mack LR model. These amenities and more helped the City of Ocala make the choice to order the Mack LR Electric. Safety, efficiency and reduced maintenance costs were others. “We feel that electric vehicles are the trucks of the future,” King said. “One of the most compelling reasons why electric vehicles are key is fuel costs. Our residential diesel-powered refuse vehicles travel 75 miles per day, servicing about 1,000 homes. That’s about $145 in fuel consumption, per truck, per day. With the electric vehicle, it costs about $30 to charge it. The savings are huge.”

Maintenance costs also are greatly reduced with the LR Electric because there is no engine or pump. King said the City of Ocala has already seen reduced maintenance costs with the electric models. The City of Ocala received a 2020 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help with the purchase. Ocala also received an additional $1 million grant to buy four more electric vehicles. Nextran of Lake City, Florida, will service and support the vehicle.

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