The £578,000 funding, which was announced last week, is from the Government’s Air Quality Grant, which helps councils to develop and implement measures to reduce the impact of dirty air on people’s health.

The grant will cover the cost of upcycling the first vehicle as well as providing a blueprint for the future conversion programme. The funds will also be used to pay for performance trials, spare parts and specialist equipment for maintaining the vehicle.

‘This is a landmark moment in our quest to make our vehicle fleet more environmentally friendly, a key strand to our overall Climate Change and Air Quality Strategy,’ said Buckinghamshire Council leader Martin Tett.

‘This funding means that not only can we convert our first refuse vehicle to electric power, which is incredibly exciting, it also means we will be able to create a blueprint for future conversions, helping us to overcome the cost barrier of the electrification of the rest of our fleet.

‘We will also be able to share information about the project with other organisations to promote and accelerate the electrification of heavier weight class vehicles.’

The upcycled 10-year-old Dennis Eagle 26 tonne refuse collection vehicle will travel 412 miles a week in the north of Aylesbury.

The council estimates that over 10 tonnes of greenhouse gas, 69 kg of oxides of nitrogen (NOx), and half a kilo of particulate matter emissions will be saved per year.