Keep On (Electric) Truckin': Tesla And Mack Team Up On Efficient New Powertrain

It’s not just fancy sports cars or even reasonable commuter vehicles that are getting the sustainable treatment.  The e-car rockstars at Tesla, in partnership with Mack, have also developed a non-fossil-fuel dependent garbage truck, with a special modification…

It's still trying to help the environment, even if your non-recycling, plastic-bag addicted self isn't.
(Image courtesy

 According to, Tesla and Mack unveiled their new creation at the Waste Expo 2016, to great acclaim.  The new model uses the same hybrid electric car technology that Tesla is famous for, but also includes a regenerative braking system that allows the truck’s battery to recharge each time it stops.

Regenerative braking is a means of harnessing the power of momentum inherent to the truck, which is generally lost when the truck comes to a stop.  In some places, such as Japan, there are even regulations on shutting down at stop lights so as to conserve power.  However, using the regenerative system, this power is stored and “recycled” back into the truck for when motion commences again.

This sort of system is popular in airplanes and some hybrid vehicles, but has yet to make the leap into commercial trucks…until now.  It could make a noteworthy dent in the fuel consumption of trucks or buses...up to 67%.  Less emissions and less routine maintenance are also inherent to the design.

You can learn more about how regenerative braking works here.
(Image courtesy

The powertrain, created by Tesla co-founder Ian Wright's company Wrightspeed (in association with Mack), is suitable for vehicles up to 66,000 lbs, and is rated for commercial use.  It uses a natural-gas turbine to help quiet the system, so in the future you might not be so roughly awakened when the garbage trucks come barreling through your neighborhood in the morning.

This is not to say the Tesla camp is shifting focus from its current massive demand for cars. Wright explained, “We don’t make vehicles, we just make powertrains." 

“There’s a battery pack that you can charge from the grid, and there’s a range-extender generator which can burn fuel, make electricity and keep the battery pack charged so that you don’t run out of range.”

Keep those (junkyard) doggies rollin’!

Shipping the future:  one of Wrightspeed's powertrain models.
Learn more about their products here!
(Image courtesy


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