UK’s biggest waste operator to up-cycle fleet to EV


Waste management operator Biffa has partnered with Lunaz to up-cycle its fleet and transition to clean-air powertrains.

Each upcycled electric vehicle (UEV) emits zero tailpipe emissions and saves 21 tonnes of embedded carbon versus replacing with a new vehicle. For UK councils, the procurement of EVs represents more than £1m in public money saved for every 20 vehicles upcycled and electrified versus buying new EV equivalents.

In signing a fleet electrification and upcycling agreement Lunaz commits to supporting the transition of Biffa’s existing diesel refuse trucks over the next decade to clean-air electric powertrains through its proprietary upcycling and electrification process and technology. The British companies are working together to create an innovative solution for the transition of large vehicles to EV to reduce emissions and tackle global climate change.

This multi-year production programme is expected to see growing numbers of vehicles delivered to Biffa over the mid-term. With an initial order of up to ten 26-tonne Upcycled UEV refuse trucks saving up to 210 tonnes in embedded carbon.

Following the successful completion of technical trials and due diligence, first deliveries will take place for operations on UK refuse collection routes in 2023. Biffa’s UEV refuse trucks will operate on both commercial and municipal waste collection routes.

The waste management industry is at the frontline of a critical requirement to reduce carbon emissions from road logistics. According to a report by the World Economic Forum ‘for the industry to limit temperature increases to no more than 1.5 degrees centigrade, two-thirds of trucks sold this decade must be zero-emissions.’

However, this must not come at the cost of scrapping millions of perfectly serviceable vehicles, in doing so increasing the carbon burden in waste and the manufacturing process. The Lunaz approach, in line with the principles of the circular economy, answers this and also creates major economic benefits.

A Lunaz UEV represents a significant total cost of ownership saving versus either existing diesel equivalents or new EVs. This accelerates the adoption of clean air vehicles by creating a more economically viable route to fleet transition.

Every up-cycled electric vehicle produced by Lunaz saves 82 per cent of the embedded carbon within that vehicle. At full capacity, the company’s factory in Silverstone, UK, will save the equivalent weight of the Eiffel Tower every year in embedded carbon by upcycling rather than scrapping existing fleet vehicles.

“We are committed to enabling the circular economy while reducing emissions and carbon expenditure in every aspect of our business,” Maxine Mayhew, COO collection & specialist services at Biffa, said: “By working with Lunaz to meet our goal of buying no more fossil fuelled vehicles by 2030 while breaking the replace-with-new cycle, we pioneer an approach in this industry that saves millions of tonnes in embedded carbon. I am proud that every electric vehicle upcycled by Lunaz for Biffa’s fleet will mean one less tailpipe emission emitting vehicle for our planet. This long-term partnership with Lunaz is a major pillar in our collective effort to achieve our 2030 commitments.”

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