Des Moines is embracing electric cars as its first choice to replace old vehicles as they're retired from the city's fleet, according to its finance director.
- That includes plans to electrify trash trucks as technology and market availability make their purchase more feasible.
Why it matters: Des Moines has about three dozen trash trucks that accounted for almost half of the city's total diesel use (437K gallons) last year.
- Their eventual replacements to electric or 100% biodiesel would cut CO2 emissions by an estimated 2,200 tons a year.
The big picture: Truck makers began testing electric garbage trucks in the last year or so, promoting them as zero emissions and quieter than the typical diesel counterpart.
- New York City and Toms River, New Jersey, are among the first local governments to use them.
By the numbers: Diesel-powered garbage trucks generally cost between $200K to $350K, while electric trucks cost around $550K, according to the Asbury Park Press.
- DSM's electric cars cost about $5K more than a gas-powered one.
- Yes, but: Maintenance and fuel/energy costs are lower and produce long-term savings.
Between the lines: DSM's first opportunity to buy electric trash, snowplow or dump trucks will likely be in 2025 or later, based on the city's purchasing process, finance director Nickolas Schaul told Axios.
- In the meantime, new technology allows the city to retrofit some of its larger trucks with systems that use B100, a 100% biodiesel fuel.
Of note: DSM's 726-vehicle fleet currently has four electric cars, and the city plans to add 14 more in the next year.
🎸 Thought bubble: Does anybody else think "The Electric Trash Trucks" could be a good band name?
More Des Moines stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Des Moines.