City of Santa Cruz

Introducing Santa Cruz’s All-Electric Refuse Truck

Blog - June 20, 2023

Boost Charger 200 + Mack LR Truck

At FreeWire, we’re proud to be a part of The City of Santa Cruz’s innovative all-electric refuse truck project. The City has taken an important step towards reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality by introducing this Mack LR truck – the first of its kind on the West Coast

The City of Santa Cruz purchased a Mack LR truck, an all-electric sanitation truck powered by a 290 kWh battery. It will primarily be used for a trash pick-up route that spans about 12 miles and 100 stops, mostly in the downtown area.

Compared to a typical electric vehicle battery that ranges from 60 kWh to 110 kWh, this truck’s battery is three to five times larger. However, due to the 208 800 amp input power bottleneck, a fast-charging system is needed to support the truck’s efficient operation.

The project began with the installation of a solar power system that produces about 300,000 kWh per year, with an overproduction of 100,000 kWh per year. That solar energy is directed into the FreeWire Boost Charger’s integrated energy storage system. The charger, which operates at 208 volts, 100 A, trickle charges the 160 kWh battery, which is about half the capacity of the truck’s battery. The charger then outputs up to 200 kW, creating a 100% renewable solution.


Not only is this project environmentally sustainable, but it also provides financial savings. By utilizing solar energy to power the truck, the city will save about $25,000 a year, based on a rate of $.25 per kWh. The all-electric refuse truck saves about 4,000 gallons of diesel per year, which equates to approximately $20,000 to $25,000 in cost savings, depending on the cost of diesel.

Boost Charger 200 is the perfect solution for this project. The technology is designed to work with a 208-volt input, which is not supported by traditional fast chargers. This feature allows the charger to trickle charge the batteries efficiently and effectively.

The Santa Cruz Refuse Truck project is a great example of how sustainable solutions can benefit both the environment and the economy.

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