Electric waste collection vehicle to be added to fleet

Investment in a new fully-electric refuse collection vehicle is one of the recommendations Cabinet members will be asked to approve as part of the continuing vehicle replacement strategy.

Our waste collection crews recently trialled a fully electric vehicle in Barnsley and found it was up to the challenge of emptying commercial waste bins across the borough.

We already have 33 fully electric vehicles, which amount to 15 per cent of the council fleet, but this would be the first large commercial vehicle. Cabinet will be asked to approve the latest round of vehicle replacements at their next meeting on Wednesday 18 May which will include four more fully electric vehicles.

Cllr Chris Lamb, Cabinet spokesperson for Environment and Transport, said: “Making greener choices in the vehicles we use as a council is helping reduce carbon emissions and decrease our reliance on fossil fuels.

“We’re working towards reducing our carbon emissions to net-zero by 2040, and sooner than that if we can. One of the challenges is how we can shift away from diesel when it comes to the larger vehicles and machinery we need to use in some of the work we do as a council.

“I’m so pleased that our recent trial with an electric waste vehicle was a success. If approved by Cabinet, this new vehicle will be used on our commercial waste collections at first. However our crews will also have the chance to try it out on household waste collection rounds too so we can assess how well it performs right across our borough. This will help us plan how we replace our other vehicles as and when they become ready for replacement.”

When council vehicles need to be replaced, or additional vehicles need to be added to the fleet, electric vehicles are always the first option we consider. However, it is not always possible due to the specialist nature of some vehicles, and the development and expansion of choice in the market for commercial electric vehicles has been slower than for passenger vehicles.

Where it is not possible to opt for an electric vehicle, we will always select vehicles which meet the latest emissions standards. It is estimated that vehicles purchased since 2019 produce 75% less CO2 than the older vehicles they have replaced. On top of this, we have been investigating alternative fuels to help further reduce the emissions of our non-electric vehicles.

We have recently carried out trials using Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) as an alternative to diesel.  It is expected the use of HVO will reduce the CO2 emissions from 120g/km to just 12g/km.

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