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The electric garbage truck, Source: HSY

Helsinki to test a fully electric garbage truck

Helsinki to test a fully electric garbage truck

It should reduce noise and air pollution in the heart of the city

Next month, the City of Helsinki will test an all-electric garbage truck with the aim of reducing air and noise pollution in the capital. According to the municipality’s environmental services HSY, the vehicle will produce no exhaust or particulate emissions. As such, it should significantly improve the air quality in the centre of the capital, where the impact of traffic emissions is reportedly the most harmful.

The main goals of the experiment are to minimise the noise nuisance of waste collection as well as local emissions such as exhaust gas and fine particles. We are trying to find out whether fully electric waste trucks would be the best and cheapest way to reduce these disadvantages in the future,” explained HSY's Operations Manager, Juho Nuutinen.

In addition to being more environmentally friendly, the electric waste truck should also be significantly quieter than the conventional garbage trucks. In a press release, VTT's Project Manager Tommi Muona explained how the new vehicle will result in lower noise levels, sharing that electric motors – instead of diesel engines – will supply the energy needed to both move the truck and to lift and empty waste bins.

Taking weather conditions into account

Initially, the capital will test out the garbage truck only in its city centre. In the future, HSY can expand its operations, allowing it to cover the entire HSY collection area. However, it is important to note that there is little experience with the use of electric waste trucks in northern weather conditions. 

“We want to ensure that the car works even in harsher and changing weather conditions. That is why we are mapping out the experiences and the total benefits with an experiment that will run during the winter season and end in the spring of 2023,” Nuutinen shared.

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