Oxford City Council has started a trial of an electric refuse collection lorry as part of its aims to electrify 25% of its fleet of 339 vehicles by 2023.
Oxford Direct Services (ODS), which is wholly owned by Oxford City Council, has 27 RCVs that cover all the homes and businesses across the city.
The new electric refuse truck is being provided by Dennis Eagle.
Maria Warner, waste and recycling services manager at ODS, said: “We’re really excited to be testing the new all-electric refuse collection vehicle (eRCV) this month. This is a very significant investment for us and a major step forward for Oxford.
"When each of these is electric that will be almost 750 tonnes less CO2 pumped out by Oxford per year or the weight of one average car every day.”
Warner explained that every waste collection round is different and puts a different strain on the vehicle, which is why it is important to test them out before taking delivery, likely to be October at the earliest, to develop the right plans and approach to work with them effectively.
Dennis Eagle’s sales and marketing director Richard Taylor said: “The eCollect offers zero emissions and very quiet operation and is designed to operate in busy urban environments. We’re confident this highly efficient and cost-effective vehicle will meet Oxford’s operational needs as well as its vision for a cleaner, greener future.”
Warner said that a key reason for testing the impact of different collection rounds on the vehicle battery is to ensure that charging requirements fit in with staff working patterns. “On our domestic collection rounds, the teams work a different shift pattern, so we need to know the charging requirements of the vehicles to be able to plan around the workforce and customer needs.”
At the start of July, 32 fast 22kW chargers for electric vehicles (EVs) were installed at ODS’s depot in Marsh Road, plus Oxford’s first 50kW rapid electric charger, and this is what will be used to charge the new eRCV.
It was installed as part of the Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO) project, led by Oxford City Council and Pivot Power (an EDF Renewables UK company).
Councillor Nigel Chapman, cabinet member for customer focused services, said: “This is a great example of a practical approach to tackling emissions and making sure it works for everyone in Oxford.
“These highly efficient vehicles are designed to be at least as cost-effective as their diesel counterparts over the course of their lifetime so we need to make sure every aspect of working with them is well planned before taking delivery of the first one.
“It’s good to see our front-line staff working with the very latest technology, which I know is eagerly awaited.”