Three day test period on the city streets will gauge the performance of the waste truck's battery with a view to full deployment later this year
One of the UK's first zero emission bin collection lorries is being trialled in Oxford this week, ahead of plans to deploy the fully-electric refuse collection vehicle on the city's streets later this year.
Oxford Direct Services (ODS), which manages Oxford city council's waste collection services, said that the three-day trial would test how the lorry's battery performs while collecting household and business waste.
It claims the vehicle, produced by Warwickshire-based truck manufacturer Dennis Eagle with support from the government-backed Energy Superhub Oxford initiative, is the first "purpose-built fully integrated" electric refuse collection vehicle built by a UK original equipment manufacturer.
Maria Warner, waste and recycling services manager at ODS, said that trials taking place this week were "a very significant investment" for the firm and "a major step forward for Oxford".
The company expects to officially purchase the electric bin lorry once the testing phase is completed in the autum, with a view to eventually replacing all 27 diesel bin lorries in its fleet with electric vehicles, which it estimated could save 750 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.
"That's why we want to start doing the right thing now - imagine when all the vehicles in the city, not just ours, are electric, what a difference this will make to air, not to mention noise pollution," Warner said.
The electric lorry's engine and lifting machinery are also far quieter than those of a traditional diesel refuse collection vehicle, according to Richard Taylor, Dennis Eagle's sales and marketing director. "The eCollect offers zero emissions and very quiet operation and is designed to operate in busy urban environments," he said. "We're confident this highly efficient and cost-effective vehicle will meet Oxford's operational needs as well as its vision for a cleaner, greener future."
As well as waste collection, ODS provides a range of environmental and waste services for Oxford city council and local businesses, and its electric waste lorry trials this week form part of its wider ambition to electrify a quarter of its 339-strong vehicle fleet by 2023. In preparation for the transition it installed 32 fast 22kW EV chargers earlier in July, as well athe city's first 50kW rapid charger at its depot.
Councillor Nigel Chapman, cabinet member for customer focused services commended the launch of the electric bin lorry, touting it as "a great example of a practical approach to tackling emissions" that benefited the broader Oxford community. "These highly efficient vehicles are designed to be at least as cost-effective as their diesel counterparts over the course of their lifetime so we need to make sure every aspect of working with them is well planned before taking delivery of the first one," he said.
Oil & Gas Technology Centre and Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult to team up on floating wind, blade recycling, and offshore platform decarbonisation
Dott, Tier and Voi launch industry sustainability standards covering waste reduction, clean energy, and CO2 reporting
ClientEarth wins right to appeal recent High Court decision which upheld planning approval for 3.6GW project
Tech giant also touts further carbon removal efforts, $50m innovation investment, an expanded carbon tax, and a new 'sustainability calculator' for customers