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Mack Trucks’ First Fully Electric Vehicle Introduced to New Communities

By Colin McEvoy on October 7, 2022

The Mack LR Electric, Mack Trucks’ first fully electric vehicle, is manufactured in the Lehigh Valley. (photo courtesy Mack Trucks)

Mack Trucks has announced that its first fully electric vehicle, which is manufactured right here in the Lehigh Valley, will be introduced and put to use in two additional communities in the United States.

Miami-Dade County in Florida recently introduced the Mack LR Electric refuse vehicle to help the county improve resiliency and sustainability, and the town of Cary, N.C., has also ordered the vehicle to reaffirm its commitment to sustainability and its citizens.

“Mack congratulates the Town of Cary on their pursuit of sustainable operations and is proud that they have chosen to purchase and deploy a Mack LR Electric to help achieve their goals,” said Jonathan Randall, Mack Trucks Senior Vice President of Sales and Commercial Operations. “We look forward to continuing our commitment to developing sustainable transportation solutions with Cary and our other customers, as well as helping them fulfill their environmental goals.”

All of Mack Trucks’ heavy-duty vehicles for North America and export are assembled in the Lehigh Valley facility in Lower Macungie Township, and that will include the Mack LR Electric. Production on the vehicle began earlier this year, and it was launched in March.

Mack recently announced a target of 35% of its global sales will be fully electric by 2030, which the Mack LR Electric will help fulfill, according to the company.

Four NMC (Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide) lithium-ion batteries, charged through a 150 kW, SAE J1772-compliant charging system, power the vehicle and all onboard accessories through 12V, 24V and 600V circuits.

The two-stage regenerative braking system helps recapture energy from the hundreds of stops the vehicle makes each day with an increasing load, Randall said. The Mack LR Electric will serve both commercial and municipal customers.

The Town of Cary chose the Mack LR Electric as the first battery-electric vehicle (BEV) in its refuse fleet in recognition of Mack’s proven history of producing refuse vehicles to meet the specific demands and requirements of customers, town officials said. 

“The Mack LR Electric truck is our latest step toward creating a sustainable and resilient Cary,” said Danna Widmar, assistant town manager. “Cary prioritizes managing, preserving and enhancing our natural environment to support a high quality of life, so we’re looking forward to seeing how this addition to our electric fleet contributes to our emissions reduction objectives.”

This order makes Cary the first municipality in North Carolina to order a Mack LR Electric refuse vehicle. But Miami-Dade County purchased it to be the first heavy-duty electric vehicle purchase for its fleet, to help the county move toward sustainable operations.

“This is a monumental moment for Miami-Dade and the waste industry because we are using refuse that we collect to power our zero-emissions electric garbage truck,” said Miami-Dade Department of Solid Waste Management Director Michael Fernandez, according to Fleet Owner. “Miami-Dade will be a leader in sustainable innovation by using the electricity from the Miami-Dade Resources Recovery Waste-to-Energy facility to power the Mack LR Electric.”

Mack Trucks employs more than 2,500 people in the Lehigh Valley, and last year it completed an $84 million expansion project at its regional facility that included equipment and improvements, the insourcing of chassis assembly, and a 300,000-square-foot addition.

“We’re not planning to stop, either. We will continue to invest in the plant as well going forward,” Brunius said during an interview with the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) as part of the organization’s executive video interview series. The full video of the interview can be viewed on LVEDC’s YouTube channel or seen below.

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