Waste management firm FCC Environment is seeking support for uptake of electric refuse collection vehicles across its municipal waste contracts in the UK.
The company has shipped in an eRCV hybrid self-charging refuse collection vehicle from its Madrid fleet, to demonstrate the capability of the vehicles within the UK.
According to the companyâ€™s UK head of fleet David Simpson, with pressure on government to phase out diesel as well as concerns over the impact of commercial vehicle fleets on air pollution and climate change â€œnow is the right time to highlight the potential of electric vehicles for the waste industry.â€
The vehicle, which it will be demonstrating at locations across the country, is electrically powered with an ancillary compressed natural gas (CNG) engine.
According to FCC, budget holders recognise that the greatest benefits of electric vehicles are to be found in commercial fleets.
Switching from diesel to electric vehicles would bypass the risk of oil price hikes; while local authorities could charge their fleets from local energy-from-waste facilities â€“ or even solar arrays at their depots, FCC says.
Mr Simpson added: â€œThe market is developing rapidly, and the time when we will have cost parity between conventional and alternative-powered vehicles is drawing ever-closer. Without the financial and environmental cost of running diesel fleets, society could make significant gains within pre-determined timescales.
â€œWe as a nation have to look forward and with government support waste can be transported cleaner and efficiently using zero emission vehicles.â€
Waste firms are increasingly looking at alternative fuels due to a greater focus on air pollution from fleet vehicles.
Among them, Grundon Waste Management is running a hydrogen-diesel dual fuel vehicle in London as part of a trial scheme (see airqualitynews.com story), while the City of London Corporation is testing a fully-electric collection vehicle on some of its routes within the Square Mile (see airqualitynews.com story).