Electrification of the waste and recycling sector is gaining momentum, as specialist operators strive to reduce their carbon footprint and improve air quality. Many have now plugged into the potential and practicality of electric refuse vehicles, and here with Andy Graves Product Marketing Manager, Dennis Eagle, we explore how the eCollect is performing in real-life waste cycles, as well as looking at the robust testing in place for the emerging technology.
“The eCollect is based on our most popular RCV configuration, the Dennis Eagle Elite Narrow 6×2 rear-steer chassis – with an electric drive system instead of diesel. Our market-leading Olympus OL19 Narrow body and our Terberg ‘Omni’ range of automatic split lifts, completes the specification. Most important of all, this is the only all-electric RCV produced by an OEM, the complete package built under one roof with no need to involve another manufacturer.
Our chassis, our body, our bin lift, each designed to work together and fully compliant with Whole Vehicle Type Approval (WVTA). Built by us, trusted by our customers. Our aim from the outset of design was for the vehicle to collect 20 tonnes of waste on an 8-hour shift before it needed recharging, which has been reflected in our choice of batteries.
Five packs of lithium ion batteries, each with 12 cells to a pack, produce 300kWh of power to drive the 200kW motor. The battery packs are carefully positioned on the chassis under the body for optimum load distribution and payload. They are designed to last the same amount of time as a typical vehicle’s lifespan – after which we will responsibily recycle them. Due to the nature of RCVs working patterns, the vehicle will normally be left to fully recharge overnight.
Charging times are very much dependent on how full the battery is upon start of charge, but typically it will take between 6-7 hours to replenish completely. The longer they can be left to charge the better though, as this helps the battery cells balance out more equally. The level of charge is displayed on the vehicle cluster so the driver always knows how much is left.
The eCollect, as with all models within our chassis range, has the option of Dennis Eagle’s fully integrated 5 camera DVR recording system – the first of our new safety solutions. Four 720px HD cameras provide a full 360O view on the driver’s crystal clear screen. The nearside view automatically shows when turning left and the rear view when reversing.
The fifth camera covers the work area for additional crew protection. The solid state hard drive stores up to two months’ of footage and features a ‘Crash reconstruction playback’. Full DE-Connect integration means footage is easily downloaded and provides live video streaming. This smart vehicle is the most connected RCV on the roads. The eCollect is factory-fitted with the latest version of our market-leading telematics system DE-Connect.
The software, specifically designed for the waste and recycling industry, has been updated to cover all aspects of the battery packs and electric drivetrain. This not only provides operators with outstanding operational flexibility but also enables them to manage our eRCVs with exceptional efficiency.”