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Ocala adding electric garbage trucks to its fleet

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Ocala plans to purchase five Class 8 battery-electric refuse trucks from BYD. Photo: Courtesy of BYD

Ocala is about to introduce the electric garbage truck in Florida.

The city plans to swap out five of its 50 diesel trucks for battery-powered ones.

The trucks will cost about $525,000 apiece — a lot more than their diesel counterparts — but a hefty grant from the EPA will help out.

And there are many benefits to going electric — fewer moving parts and less maintenance, very little noise and no tailpipe emissions.

And there’s a 78% savings on fuel costs.

Fleet Management Director John King says Ocala will get three trucks in April. He’ll make sure they can handle the 1,000 stops and 60 miles a day before buying the other two.

Cities in California and New York are piloting programs, he says. “But here in Florida we may be the first among municipalities to pilot an electric vehicle program for refuse collection.”

The trucks are made by BYD, a Chinese company with headquarters in California.


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Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes


Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.