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Turbine-Electric Hybrid Trash Truck Deployed

November 02, 2016

Ratto will deploy at least 15 Freightliner Condors retrofitted with Wrightspeed's Route turbine-electric hybrid powertrain over the next year.  Photo: Wrightspeed Powertrains
Ratto will deploy at least 15 Freightliner Condors retrofitted with Wrightspeed's Route turbine-electric hybrid powertrain over the next year.  Photo: Wrightspeed Powertrains

The Ratto Group, a Santa Rosa, Calif.-based refuse, yard waste and recycling collection and processing company, has announced it is deploying a turbine-electric hybrid refuse truck, the first of a fleet to be supplied by Wrightspeed Powertrains.

Existing vehicles are being equipped with Wrightspeed’s Route heavy-duty powertrain, which consists of a turbine engine, generator, battery pack and electronic controls. Ratto's plans to retrofit Freightliner Condor trash-collection trucks were first described last year in a story.  

"In a business that puts a premium on re-use, this represents the ultimate in recycling,” said Lou Ratto, CEO of The Ratto Group. “We're literally recycling the recycling truck. By integrating Wrightspeed's powertrains into our existing commercial fleet, we're initiating a progressive solid waste and recyclables collection strategy that will maximize the life of our vehicles, cut fuel consumption and emissions, and have a positive environmental impact on our service areas."

"As an early adopter of our powertrain technology, Lou Ratto has solidified Sonoma County as a leader in pioneering new technologies that will improve and preserve the region for future generations," said Ian Wright, founder and CEO of Wrightspeed. "We're proud to collaborate with Lou and his team and to establish our powertrain technology as the economical and environmental choice for cleaner, quieter and more efficient communities."

After the Nov. 2 unveiling, Ratto and Wrightspeed will roll out more than 15 Route-equipped trucks over the next 12 months.

Designed to deliver economic, environmental and performance benefits in both OEM-installed new vehicles and existing fleet retrofits, the Route has been recognized by the State of California for its ability to help meet progressive climate and air quality mandates, Wright said. Wrightspeed was awarded $7 million in grants by the California Energy Commission to further develop the technology for broad-based adoption.

After comments from Ratto, Wright, and Sonoma County Board Chairman Efren Carrillo, attendees watched the county's elected officials drive and ride in the first Wrightspeed-retrofitted Freightliner Condor.

"Today is a milestone for Sonoma County in terms of improving local air quality and upholding environmental standards," said Carrillo. "As a government entity, we have led with innovative programs to reduce greenhouse gases."

The Ratto Group said its fleet of refuse, recycling and compostable yard waste trucks services over 140,000 customers in Sonoma County, Mariposa County, the City of Novato, and West Marin. 

Ratto is a group of companies employing more than 300 people. It is owned by the James Ratto family, which resides in Santa Rosa. James Ratto, founder, worked his way up in the refuse business beginning as a garbage loader in San Francisco during his teen years after immigrating from Italy.

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