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Autocar begins field-testing battery-electric cabover refuse trucks

Autocar, a leading manufacturer of specialized severe-duty vocational trucks, has built its first two alpha units that feature an all-electric powertrain. The two E-ACX battery-electric cabover refuse trucks are going through a strict validation testing process to ensure the trucks are built to handle the same challenges and requirements as their diesel and CNG counterparts.


Autocar’s All-Electric E-ACX with cover removed to display one of three high voltage battery packs.

The E-ACX-64 alpha units are both automated side loaders that leverage Autocar’s Power of One integration, featuring the industry’s best body integration process that provides parallel engineering with Autocar body partners Heil and New Way. The alpha1 unit features the HEIL COMMAND SST and the alpha2 unit features the NEW WAY SIDEWINDER 3.0.

E-ACX features a battery-agnostic solution and integrated cooling system that Autocar has engineered to adapt to different battery technologies. As innovations and improvements in the EV industry change, Autocar’s E-ACX is built to evolve and adapt to use any battery the customer decides for their programming. Autocar is one of the only OEMs to offer this, as most other OEMs are tied to specific manufacturers or use proprietary technology.

The E-ACX refuse truck can withstand the most demanding challenges thrown its way with reliability and durability through the industry’s best body integration, Power of One Plus. Autocar is the only OEM with this type of integration. In addition, the electric refuse truck uses the Meritor E-axles designed to fit the differences of electric trucks and unique Smart Display integration for operator information and diagnostics.

The E-ACX will be available for pre-orders in 2023, with a limited production run in 2024.

Autocar is partnering with select customers to facilitate validation tests under real work conditions to verify performance metrics and receive operator input for both alpha units. Refuse trucks are subject to all types of climates coast to coast, cycling through thousands of stops and starts a day, in and out of landfills and transfer stations, that put even the best engineered trucks out of service. As a result, these real world tests and validations are key to making sure the E-ACX is ALWAYS UP.

The E-ACTT team that developed our all-electric terminal tractor gets a lot of credit for leading the BEV development and bringing this technology to severe-duty standards. The E-ACX is another step in our goal to help fleets achieve zero emissions while not compromising on performance or durability.

—Timothy Thornton, vice president and general manager refuse at Autocar


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