NewsNew York abandons electric snow plows

New York abandons electric snow plows

Winters in New York can be a challenge (Photo by Islam Dogru/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Winters in New York can be a challenge (Photo by Islam Dogru/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Images source: © Getty Images | Anadolu Agency
ed. PBE

3:04 PM EST, November 7, 2023

This winter, New York won't be using electric snow plows. Failure of vehicle tests has caused the local snow removal company to revert to diesel-powered vehicles.

The New York Department of Sanitation had three years ago, requested several Mack electric trucks. Primarily intended to clean streets and remove garbage, one of these trucks had been fitted with a snow plow as part of an experiment. This decision was unsurprising since in the "Big Apple", it's standard practice to fit garbage trucks with plows.

The experiment was not successful. The plow, dragging across the road and the snow buildup in front of it, created substantial resistance. Moreover, the plow required almost constant movement, eliminating the option for loading pauses. Consequently, the electric vehicle's power supply was insufficient for the demands of a New York winter, known for its heavy snowfall, as reported by the website.

The Electric Vehicles Were No Match for Winter

The report further detailed that after nearly two hours, the electric plow had to discontinue the route for recharging. While the truck was efficient for garbage collection, its performance significantly dipped when facing snow removal tasks.

The vehicles could operate a maximum of only three hours despite the real need being twelve hours. The Vice President of Mack confirmed that with the current technology, considering battery efficiency and their weight, it is not feasible to provide the Department of Sanitation with electric vehicles capable of snow removal - stated on the website.

This implies that diesel trucks will continue in operation, and this scenario is unlikely to change soon, notwithstanding the previously outlined plans to phase them out by 2040.

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