SONOMA COUNTY, Calif., Nov. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, at a press conference held in Sonoma County, Wrightspeed, the leading manufacturer of range-extended electric vehicle (REV) powertrains for heavy-duty applications, and The Ratto Group, a Santa Rosa-based refuse, yard waste and recycling collection and processing company, unveiled a new era for the global refuse and transportation industries: the first commercial application of a range-extended electric refuse truck.
With the support of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, communities in Sonoma and surrounding counties will be serviced by a fleet of clean, quiet trucks from The Ratto Group, powered by Wrightspeed's award-winning, range-extended powertrain, The Route™. Designed to deliver economic, environmental and performance benefits in both OEM-installed new vehicles and existing fleet retrofits, The Route is a scalable solution that has been recognized by The State of California for its ability to help meet progressive climate and air quality mandates. Wrightspeed was awarded $7M in grants by the California Energy Commission to further develop the technology for broad-based adoption. After brief comments from Sonoma County Chairman of the Board, Efren Carrillo, Chief Operating Officer of The Ratto Group, Lou Ratto, and Founder and CEO of Wrightspeed, Ian Wright, attendees had the opportunity to see Sonoma County's elected officials ride & drive in the first Wrightspeed-retrofitted, commercial vehicle, a Freightliner Condor, Class 8 refuse truck. "Today is a milestone for Sonoma County in terms of improving local air quality and upholding environmental standards," said the Sonoma County Chairman of the Board, Efren Carrillo. "As a government entity, we have led with innovative programs to reduce greenhouse gases, from the Sonoma County Energy Independence Program, to Sonoma Clean Power and Evergreen, to a nationally recognized Green Fleet, and the Water Agency's Carbon Free Water program, and our Regional Climate Protection Authority. Sonoma County citizens have shown their high interest and support for innovative solutions that benefit our greenhouse gas reduction goals. We applaud Wrightspeed and The Ratto Group for their commitment to innovation and for blazing a path for the future of solid and compostable waste, as well as recycling in Sonoma County and beyond." The Ratto Group's 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. After today's unveiling, Ratto and Wrightspeed will roll out more than 15 Route-equipped trucks over the next 12 months to meet community needs. "In a business that puts a premium on re-use, this represents the ultimate in recycling. We're literally recycling the recycling truck," said Lou Ratto, Chief Operating Officer of The Ratto Group. "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." About The Ratto Group The Ratto Group is a family of companies based in Santa Rosa, California. The Ratto Group 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. Currently, the company employs over 300 people serving communities in several counties in Northern California. Being in the refuse and recycling business carries over to a company-wide commitment to the environment. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is recognized as an important company goal as well as a communitywide goal and benefit. Sonoma County has a population devoted to sound environmental principles and practices. The Ratto Group strives to reflect this important community value. Teaming with Wrightspeed in the electric truck venture is a real-world effort to take a major step toward reducing emissions which contribute to climate change. About Wrightspeed Inc. Wrightspeed Inc. is the leading manufacturer of range-extended electric vehicle powertrains for heavy-duty applications. Built on a tradition of quality systems engineering, Wrightspeed's powertrains are the next step in the evolution of vehicle propulsion. Its flagship product, the Route™ was designed to transcend commercial truck efficiency and performance, providing unlimited range and dramatically reduced fuel costs. Located in Silicon Valley, Wrightspeed was founded by Ian Wright, co-founder of Tesla Motors. For more information about Wrightspeed visit: http://wrightspeed.com/ and follow us on Twitter at @GOWrightspeed. Media contact:MissionCTRL Communications for Wrightspeed wrightspeed@missionC2.com Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161031/435327