Waste management company Biffa has placed an initial order with Lunaz to convert 10 of its diesel refuse trucks to clean-air electric powertrains.

Under a deal signed in April 2023, Biffa has been conducting extensive real-world testing with Lunaz’s upcycled electric refuse trucks. With the testing now successfully completed, the two companies will work together over the next decade to support the transition of Biffa diesel refuse trucks to electric trucks.

The final testing programme was conducted in major urban centres including Milton Keynes and Manchester, with the trucks operating full domestic and commercial routes alongside their conventional diesel-powered counterparts. As well as evaluating the electric powertrain and battery performance in varying terrain and weather conditions, the programme gathered essential operational feedback from crews and fleet managers.

Maxine Mayhew, COO Collection & Specialist Services, said: ‘The streets of Milton Keynes and Manchester provided a challenging real-world test for the Lunaz UEVs, and I’m pleased to say they passed with flying colours. Our drivers and operatives were seriously impressed with how the trucks performed and the successful trial means we can now move forward with our initial order of 26-tonne upcycled UEVs, saving up to 210 tonnes in embedded carbon.

‘This agreement represents a key milestone for Biffa highlighting progress towards our sustainability and decarbonisation goals. By working with Lunaz to meet our goal of buying no more fossil fuelled vehicles by 2030 while breaking the replace-with-new cycle, we are pioneering an approach in this industry.’

David Lorenz, founder, Lunaz, said: ‘This is a landmark moment for Lunaz – the culmination of more than two years’ intensive development and comprising simulated and real-world testing for our upcycled electric refuse trucks.

‘Seeing our trucks enter service with Biffa, the UK’s largest operator in the waste management sector, is irrefutable proof of their reliability, capability and durability, and a clear demonstration that electric power is both technically and commercially viable in this demanding application.

‘It’s always seemed paradoxical, and frankly wrong, that diesel refuse trucks should themselves be thrown away at the end of their useful lives. We’re breaking that destructive replace-with-new cycle and making refuse trucks themselves part of the solution. Lunaz is proud to take out the rubbish.’

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