We have been woken up by the sound of the gas-guzzling engines of the council bin lorries as they trundle along our street – but this is a thing of the past. Thanks to the arrival of two brand new electric bin lorries at Dundee City Council, noisy early morning collections are no more.
But there are many other benefits to the new green machines as well as a reduction in noise pollution – air pollution will be eradicated too.
The 26-tonne Dennis Eagle machines are thought to be the first two electric bin lorries in Scotland with four more on order for Dundee City Council.
Within the next nine years, all 36 bin lorries will be converted to electric.
As well as being much quieter, the electric lorries are also cleaner and greener.
In fact, the environmental impact was the main reason for the diesel-to-electric switch which will see 20,000kg of carbon dioxide (co2) being saved – per vehicle. Once all 36 lorries in the fleet are electric, this will equate to 720,000kg of co2 saved from being released into the atmosphere.
Once the entire fleet is electric, it will also save hundreds of thousands of pounds a year on fuel costs, servicing and maintenance.
The brand new refuse collection vehicles (RCVs) have been manufactured by Dennis Eagle.
Richard Taylor, Sales & Marketing Director at Dennis Eagle, said: “If you consider that RCVs routinely visit every street where people live in every community in the country, the positive impact of having an emissions-free option in our industry is very significant indeed.
“The fact that we have reached the point where we can produce a 26-tonne vehicle for such an energy demanding role also speaks volumes about how far electric vehicles have developed in recent years and how much more widespread they will become in the near future.”
Having the addition of two electric bin lorries is yet another positive step towards the Drive Dundee Electric campaign that is being run by Dundee City Council in partnership with SWARCO.
And they help bolster the growing number of EVs at the council, as it already has two minibuses, more than 100 cars, and a large mechanical street sweeper that are all powered by electricity.
Each vehicle also contributes towards the council’s commitment to cleaner air for Dundee.
Of course, powering heavy goods vehicles like bin lorries needs special chargers. So, a brand new HGV charging hub needed to be installed at the council’s Marchbanks depot.
Now, thanks to contractors at SWARCO, there are four chargers including one 150kW, two 22kW and one 43kW, but this will be increased so all 36 EVs can charge.
The pair of electric HGVs have been named by a member of the public following a competition to name them which was launched by Dundee City Council in December.
The shortlist was up for public vote – the new electric lorries are named: Bin Diesel and Leonardo Di Charge-io!
Transport Scotland funded the project. On behalf of Transport Scotland, Michael Matheson MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, said that the Scottish Government was delighted to provide over £350,000 to Dundee City Council, through the Switched on Fleets initiative, to support the purchase of these vehicles.
He said that it “assisted the council in the transformation of their heavy vehicle fleet toward a zero emission future; and in-turn providing a cleaner, healthier environment on the streets of Dundee.”
Barry Will, Head of Connections for the North at Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), explained: “As the electricity distribution network operator serving Dundee, we are proud to play our part in supporting Dundee City Council with the installation of a new substation and network connection to facilitate the electrification of transport in the city.”
He added that SSEN is ready to “support and accelerate vital green investment” that enables cities like Dundee to achieve its net zero ambitions.
The future of electric car charging
Dundee is considered to be one of the ‘greenest’ cities in the world thanks to its growing electric vehicle infrastructure.
To date the council, along with a number of partners including Urban Electric, Urban Foresight and Ember, has introduced a number of incentives to encourage sustainable travel across the city including introducing state-of-the-art underground car chargers; a new electric bus service to/from Edinburgh; new charging hubs throughout the city; electric taxis; switching more than 100 council cars to electric as well as introducing special incentives for business owners who switched to electric at the start of the Drive Dundee Electric campaign.
The electric bin lorries, Bin Diesel and Leonardo Di Charge-io, are the latest move in a whole host of positive changes to reduce the city’s carbon footprint and work towards its net zero emissions target. Look out for the new bin lorries in a street near you this month.
For more information on the project, which is driven by Dundee City Council and SWARCO, visit the Drive Dundee Electric website here.