On June 9, King County became the first organization in the state to roll out a new model of battery-electric heavy-duty trucks manufactured at Kenworth’s assembly plant in Renton, opening a new market for zero-emission fleets.
It will be one of the first Class 8 battery-electric trucks in North America operated by a waste management agency. Along with King County Metro’s progress toward electrifying its bus fleet, King County is pushing a transition to zero-emission vehicles that reduce air and noise pollution.
“We are once again catalyzing new markets to accelerate the transition to zero-emission fleets, this time with reliable heavy-duty trucks built right here in King County,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “By leveraging the purchasing power of one of the nation’s largest counties, we are proving to manufacturers that there is strong demand for vehicles that cut greenhouse gas emissions, lower maintenance costs, improve air quality, and reduce noise pollution.”
King County’s Solid Waste Division will use the new zero-emission commercial truck to haul materials from its Enumclaw Recycling and Transfer Station to the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill in Maple Valley. The pilot project will provide staff members with operational experience while measuring the performance of the battery-powered tractor-trailer combination for transferring solid waste.
A cost-benefit analysis by the Solid Waste Division estimates that maintaining and operating a Kenworth T680E truck will cost less than maintaining and operating a diesel truck. In addition to cutting greenhouse gas emissions, it will reduce the amount of toxic diesel particulates that are emitted in South King County where communities are disproportionately impacted by air pollution. The quieter model will also reduce noise pollution.
The battery pack that powers the 536-horsepower motor can be recharged in about three hours at the new charging station at Cedar Hills Regional Landfill. The truck, hauling 20 tons, can easily reach 65 mph and can travel about 150 miles on a single charge.
A King County ordinance set a goal that 50 percent of its fleet of heavy-duty trucks will be electric by 2038, contributing to the county’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its operations by 80 percent by 2030.