Electric sweepers from Boschung will go to work on the streets of Nottingham in Spring 2019 as the city council becomes the first to employ these vehicles in the UK.

Bunce, which is the exclusive supplier of Boschung products in the UK, pitted the Boschung Urban-Sweeper S2.0 against electric sweepers from other major manufacturers during two days of demonstrations in the city centre, organised by Nottingham City Council as part of its ongoing effort to reduce CO2 emissions through the procurement of low emission vehicles.

With its 3.5 tonnes gross weight and 1.2-tonne payload, the Urban Sweeper S2.0 was deemed to be the best choice to fulfil the council’s requirements. Patrick Fringeli, Boschung’s UK managing director, explains that the vehicle has a number of features that set it apart from its competitors, including manoeuvrability, ease of operation, and its strong suction power. ‘This is the first fully electric-steered sweeper in the world. It is a multi-functional work tool that releases zero emissions.’

The Urban Sweeper S2.0 is one of the latest innovations from the Boshung Technology Centre in Payerne, western Switzerland, where the company focuses on developing hardware and software solutions, and batteries and controls for self-driving maintenance vehicles in accordance with its own zero-emissions strategy. The Urban-Sweeper S2.0 features a new intelligent battery management system. The battery will automatically heat up when needed, cool off when it is too hot and includes an overcharging protection circuit.

‘As a sweeper of the 2.5m³ class the Urban Sweeper delivers so much more,’ says Patrick. ‘It has a narrower width, which means it can access areas that would be inaccessible to other 2m³ sweepers. It is also lighter by one tonne, which helps to save energy, and the articulated steering system provides for smooth operation of the vehicle.’

The S2.0 is also connected. Users can track its movements at all times via Boschung’s smartphone app RWIS or via a computer using Boschung’s web application BORRMA-vision.

Nottingham City Council’s assistant fleet manager Andrew Smith says that the environmental credentials of the sweeper were a key factor in the choice of this vehicle. ‘Not only are the machines emissions-free, but they are also considerably quieter in operation, which will mean less disturbance for the citizens of Nottingham and a better environment for the operator. Another factor in the purchase of this new technology is the potential for a much-reduced fuel bill and maintenance costs, thanks to the smaller number of moving parts in an EV.’

These machines are part of Nottingham City Council’s commitment, as a Low Emission City, to wherever possible replace internal combustion engine vehicles and machines with EVs or hybrid equivalents.

Jason Gooding, head of parking, fleet and transport, said: ‘We are fully committed to delivering on the council’s clean air strategy and are actively converting our fleet to ULEV-compliant vehicles, predominantly light vehicles. This move to convert the sweepers is a major step forward in our aim to deliver clean air in our city and to be the largest public sector ULEV-compliant fleet operator in the country.’

Nottingham City Council currently as a total of 51 ULEZ-compliant cars and vans and more vehicles are due to be added to the fleet in the coming months. The city council is keen to look at any options that can reduce emissions, noise levels, and operational costs and the next stage of its EV programme is the introduction of electric cage tippers and electric wheelchair accessible minibuses to the fleet as well as battery-powered hand tools for its municipal operations.