Four new fully electric street sweepers began cleaning Nottingham’s city centre streets this week in a first for the UK.

Nottingham City Council is leading the way in tackling air pollution through a series of innovative measures – the latest of which includes zero emission street sweepers and cage tippers.

Not only are the new vehicles cleaner and quieter, they’re cheaper to run – saving the council at least £20,000 a year on fuel costs.

Councillor Sally Longford, Portfolio Holder for Energy and Environment, said: “Our street sweepers are out every evening and early morning keeping our city centre clean, so it’s fitting they’ll be much cleaner themselves! We’re the first council in the country to use this exciting new technology and we’re proud to continue to lead the way in lowering emissions and improving air quality.”

The four street sweepers follow shortly after three new 3.5 tonne cage tippers – used to empty public litter bins – came into service in January.

Converting its fleet into more electric and ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) is a key part of the City Council’s Local Plan to Improve Air Quality in Nottingham, with an aim of 22 per cent of the fleet being ULEV by 2020.

There are already more than 50 ultra low emission cars and vans, and a further 40 diesel and petrol vehicles will be converted this summer. The council is making great strides toward reducing the carbon and nitrogen dioxide impacts of transport in Nottingham.

Jason Gooding, the council’s Head of Parking, Transport and Fleet Services, said: “This move to convert the sweepers is a major step forward in our aims to deliver clean air in our city and be the largest public sector ULEV fleet operators in the country.

“Not only are the machines emission free they are considerably quieter in operation, which will mean less disturbance for the citizens of Nottingham. They will also provide a better environment for the operator.”

The street sweepers are Boschung S2.0 EV sweepers and have been funded through a successful bid for £1,495,000 from the Government’s Joint Air Quality Unit’s (JAQU) Early Measures Fund.

The council will take delivery of a further two street sweepers and seven cage tippers later this year, along with five electric minibuses and 56 cars and vans.

The Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU) is a joint unit set up by the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Department for Transport (DfT) with the aim of improving air quality nationwide.

Technical information:

Cage Tipper: Electric LDV Single Cab Cage Tipper Maximum GVW 4.0T, 56kW Lithium ion battery, Range – Minimum 100 miles

Road Sweeper: Bunce, Fully electric drive train with regeneration capabilities. Operational time minimum eight hours per full charge, Lithium ion batteries, minimum battery capacity of 45kWh, Max 4500kg GVW, minimum payload of 1000kg