‘World-first’ trial of electric RCV powered by waste03 September 2019

Sheffield City Council has taken delivery of an electric RCV powered by the waste it collects, in what is thought to be a world-first for a local authority.

The vehicle is fitted with an electric drive system, by Magtec, and is the first of two to arrive in the city as part of a trial, funded by Innovate UK. Westminster Council, in London, is also participating in the same trial and has its first of two vehicles in operation.

Sheffield’s first vehicle is a 2010 registered, 26-tonne Dennis Elite 6x2 rear steer. Its diesel engine and transmission have been removed and the chassis has undergone a full mechanical refurbishment.

Magtec installed a zero-emission electric drive system powered by five 60kWh batteries, and the vehicle is fitted with a new Dennis Olympus 21W body and Terberg Omnidell hydraulic bin lift, as well as a 360-degree camera system.

Batteries are recharged at the Sheffield Energy Recovery Facility, with a full recharge taking eight hours.

Councillor Mark Jones, Sheffield’s cabinet member for environment and climate change, says: “This is an amazing, innovative project that puts Sheffield and the region at the forefront of green technology.

“Using local expertise, we are piloting a new repowered 26-tonne bin lorry which is powered by the electricity produced by the waste it collects. We believe we are the first local authority ever to do this, putting Sheffield at the forefront of the green energy revolution.”

Marcus Jenkins, founder and director of Magtec, says: “The quickest and most economical way to reduce harmful emissions in our cities is to repower diesel trucks with electric drives.

“Converting one bin lorry to electric is equivalent to taking 30 diesel powered cars off the streets. We are especially delighted that two of the repowered vehicles will be running in our home city of Sheffield.

“Repowering larger fleets of vehicles will accelerate the growth of Magtec and create more high quality engineering jobs and opportunities for young people.”

The project is part of a £2.6m national scheme to accelerate the transition to zero-emission HGVs, funded by Innovate UK. Sheffield’s project has six partners, including operator Veolia and telematics supplier Microlise.

It is thought that refurbishing and repowering RCVs in this way could double their typical operational lifespan to 14 years. The vehicles in Sheffield and London will be tested over two years to assess durability, performance and cost efficiency.

Laura Cork

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