May 02, 2022
The Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA) was recently one of five entities awarded a state grant to purchase an electric waste collection truck. The award is part of New Jersey Governor Murphy's initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector. This most recent $6 million investment focused on the purchase of electric trucks for use in vulnerable communities.
“ACUA is thrilled to be selected for this grant,” said ACUA President Rick Dovey. “Our collection fleet has the privilege of serving many in our area, and we understand the important role we play in reducing fuel emissions, especially for communities already overburdened by pollution. This grant will allow us to explore the benefits of this alternative technology without impacting ratepayers.”
ACUA was awarded $453,214 to purchase one electric collection vehicle and charging system. The funding was generated through New Jersey’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which is a multi-state, market-based program that establishes a regional cap on carbon dioxide emissions and requires fossil fuel plants to obtain allowances. In total, the state has generated more than $250 million from the program. (Learn more: https://www.nj.gov/dep/aqes/rggi.html
In addition to generating zero tailpipe emissions, electric trucks are quieter and typically have less maintenance and operational costs than their conventional counterparts.
“The waste industry has been slow to adopt heavy duty electric vehicles due to technology and range limitations, charging efficiency, and the overall purchase costs in comparison to conventional waste collection trucks,” said ACUA Vice President of Centralized Maintenance and Asset Management Matthew DeNafo. “However, the technology has greatly developed, and with the aid of this grant funding, we are excited to be the first to operate and demonstrate the viability of electric collection trucks here in Atlantic County.”
Currently, ACUA fuels its collection fleet using compressed natural gas (CNG), which has less emissions than conventional diesel fuel. Since making the switch to CNG, ACUA and its ratepayers have received more than $3.1 million in benefits from fuel cost savings, sales revenues and tax credits. In addition, more than 4,800 metric tons of CO2e has been prevented from entering the atmosphere.
ACUA also employs a range of electric and hybrid vehicles that are used across both its wastewater and solid waste facilities, including utility trucks, sedans, and SUVs. Level 2 charging stations are also available at both locations.
For more information on all projects funded through this initiative, please visit: https://www.nj.gov/dep/vw/project.html