Its first electric-bodied Econic, a 6x2 vehicle, has been in operation at nearby Deptford Market since 2011.
The new addition is a 4x2 Econic 1830, based on an 18-tonne chassis supplied by dealer Marshall Truck & Van and acquired on contract hire from NRG Fleet Services. It is used to compact and remove waste six days a week, while the market is in operation.
Noel Everest, the council’s service group manager for passenger & fleet services, says: “The Econic is superbly reliable, performs really well, and offers whole-life costs that blow its main competitor out of the water.
“The vehicle’s safety credentials, and the likelihood that it will get a five-star rating under the mayor of London’s new Direct Vision Standard proposals, add significantly to its appeal.”
A compactor skip has been used for rubbish collection at Lewisham Market, instead of trucks with engine-driven bodies to avoid an increase in local emissions.
However, says Everest, the Econic with plug-in body is “an ideal solution”. He explains: “It means the vehicle effectively acts as a mobile compactor skip. The body runs on electric power so is very quiet, and when it’s full – which is usually by lunchtime – the driver can leave the market with relative ease to tip.
“The Econic then returns and remains on site, typically until 7.30pm, at which point it comes back to the depot for the body to be recharged overnight.”
The body’s battery packs adds 1,200kg to the vehicle, but tonnage is not crucial for the market operation, he says. “Safety and environmental considerations are far more important, and in these respects our Econics with plug-in bodies work superbly.” Lewisham Council also has 40 Econics for general waste collection and recycling duties, all 26-tonners with rear-steer axles.