Lunaz’ electric trucks given green light to collect refuse in London

Lunaz's upcycled electric vehicles (UEVs) will be three quarters less polluting than diesel trucks

Lunaz, a company known for its revolutionary electrifying tech, having made many iconic and classic cars, has now set its sights on something more practical and efficient in real world: electrified refuse collection trucks.

The Silverstone-based company has said that it wants to produce 1,100 upcycled electric vehicles (UEVs) — a fancy named coined by Lunaz for older petrol or diesel vehicles restored with a clean, green electric engine — in 2024.

It’s lofty aims are off to a strong start. The company has partnered up with Biffa Waste Management to respond the ongoing demand from London boroughs, and its electric trucks have been awarded the highest Direct Vision Standard (DVS) for driver visibility.

Lunaz has a stellar track record when it comes to doing electrifying older vehicles. The company founded by David Lorenz and Jon Hilton, the latter a Technical Director for Renault F1, winning Fernando Alonso’s successive World Championships in 2005 and 2006, has so far restored an enviable lineup of cars, including the Aston Martin DB6, Jaguar XK120 and Rolls-Royce Phantom.

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By achieving a five-star rating on DVS, Lunaz UEVs are now cleared by Transport for London (TfL) to start service in the capital without any further documents or modifications being required.

Lunaz upcycled electric trucks

Founder of Lunaz Group David Lorenz said: “From the outset, we’ve built our upcycled electric trucks to meet the DVS five-star standard for driver visibility — the highest available.

“This accreditation enables operators to obtain an HGV permit from London boroughs without any further documentary evidence or vehicle modifications. It’s also in line with [London] Mayor Sadiq Khan’s pledge to eliminate road deaths in London by 2041. Having our UEVs fully prepared for operation in the capital is an import step towards widespread adoption.

“They’re cheaper and better-equipped than their all-new electric equivalents, representing greater value for money for local taxpayers, alongside the environmental benefits of our clean-air technology and upcycling process. It also means we’re heading into 2024 in a strong position to continue our journey towards a projected production capacity of 1,100 vehicles a year.”

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As a ‘better than new’ upcycled electric vehicle, each Lunaz electric truck is equipped with a suite of technologies to help drivers see around the vehicle from all angles, including an external camera monitoring system, digitised wing mirrors which eliminate blind spots and are weather-proof.

It also comes with an object detection system instantly picks out cyclists, pedestrians and other potential hazards, alerting the driver via the dashboard display screen.

Lunaz electric trucks pictured with Biffa

By reusing and recycling existing vehicles, the company said that it’s looking to break the destructive replace-with-new cycle, preventing unnecessary landfill and minimising the overall lifetime environmental impact of operating commercial vehicle fleets.

Last year, a lifecycle carbon analysis study conducted by Tunley Environmental found that Lunaz’s upcycled electric vehicles (UEV) emit 72 per cent less CO2 compared to new diesel models.

Up against new electric vehicles, UEVs create 27 percent fewer emissions. The report showed upcycled electric trucks save 344 tonnes of CO2 over diesel equivalents and an UEV saves 43 tonnes of CO2 emissions compared to a new BEV.

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After the publishing of the study, Lorenz responded saying: “At a time when investment in sustainable technologies and solutions, especially around transport, is front and centre in the news and legislation, this report is a huge vote of confidence not just in our upcycling process, but in electric propulsion generally.

“This rigorous independent study shows our upcycled electric vehicles’ carbon emissions over their potential lifetime are substantially lower than their new diesel and electric equivalents. The extent of these savings is clearly impactful, and a fantastic validation of our technology and approach, providing a clear path to value for our customers, and sending strong signals to green technology investors who continue to be attracted to the Lunaz proposition.”

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