Electric refuse collection vehicle trialled in Sheffield, UK


The UK city of Sheffield is trialling an electric refuse collection vehicle powered by the waste it collects, in what is being billed by Sheffield City Council as a world-first for a local authority.

The vehicle was unveiled at the Energy Recovery Facility as part of a trial taking place in Sheffield and Westminster in London.

A total of four used diesel-powered refuse collection vehicles will be retrofitted with a lithium-ion battery system designed, manufactured and installed by Sheffield-based EV drive system supplier Magtec.

All four vehicles will be put into service as part of a research and development scheme conducted over two years to test their durability, performance and cost effectiveness.

As well as benefiting from zero carbon emissions and production of no air pollution, electrification is expected to extend the working life of each vehicle from seven to 14 years.

So far, the project has delivered two vehicles for Sheffield and two for Westminster Council, with both areas now having one vehicle in operation.

Marcus Jenkins, founder and director of Magtec, said: “The quickest and most economical way to reduce harmful emissions in our cities is to re-power diesel trucks with electric drives. Converting one bin lorry to electric is equivalent to taking 30 diesel powered cars off the streets.”

The project is part of a £2.6m national scheme to accelerate the transition to zero-emission heavy goods vehicles funded by Innovate UK.

Sheffield’s project is made up of six partners including Veolia, which will be responsible for operating the vehicles in the city as part of its waste contract with Sheffield City Council.

Sheffield has been awarded £220,000 by Innovate UK for the battery packs. The remaining costs are being met with funding from Innovate UK and other partners DG Cities and Microlise.

Based in Greenwich, London, DG Cities specialises in the integration of smart city technologies and approaches to maximise their benefits for cities and optimise the use of resources, infrastructure and services.

Nottingham-based Microlise specialises in telematics and technology solutions for fleet operators.