Biffa to upcycle waste vehicles from diesel engines to electric

Waste management company Biffa and vehicle electrification company Lunaz are combining their expertise to give Biffa trucks a new lease of life by replacing diesel engines with electric. Older vehicles will be upcycled instead of scrapped as Biffa transitions its fleet to zero-emissions powertrains.
The British companies say they are working together to create an innovative solution for the transition of large vehicles to EV. The initial order is for up to ten 26t upcycled electric vehicle (UEV) refuse trucks saving up to 210 tonnes in embedded carbon, but the multi-year production programme is expected to see growing numbers of vehicles delivered to Biffa over the mid-term. 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 upcycling process also creates significant functional and operational advantages. In collaboration with Biffa’s technical team, Lunaz’s specialist engineers are developing key modifications exactly tailored to Biffa, its clients and its drivers’ operational requirements. This includes the ability to tailor the size of the powertrain to a specific route profile. This means for shorter, more urban routes, Biffa is not burdened with the extra cost and weight of an overspecified battery-pack.
The companies say procuring these vehicles represents a saving for the taxpayer, as upcycling and electrifying 20 vehicles saves more than £1 million versus buying new EV equivalents. Every up-cycled electric vehicle produced by Lunaz saves 82% of the embedded carbon within that vehicle.
Lunaz says it can up-cycle more than 1,110 industrial vehicles every year at its Silverstone facility.