Two new electric bin lorries have started operating in Nottingham in a world first – and they’re outperforming their diesel counterparts.

The sparkling new, clean and green answer to bin collections, the lorries have been doing the rounds for a few weeks and are already saving up to 70 litres of diesel and 360kg of CO2 every day. They are expected to save the taxpayer £32,000 per year in running costs and reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the city by 52 tonnes per year – the equivalent of 2,000 trees.

Nottingham City Council bought the fully electric vehicles to support their aim to be carbon neutral by 2028, improve working conditions for their staff and reduce running costs.

The vehicles – manufactured by Original Equipment Manufacturer Dennis Eagle and supplied to Nottingham City Council by Terberg Matec UK as part of the Nottinghamshire RCV procurement contract – have replaced diesel equivalents to help empty household bins across Nottingham.

Cllr Sally Longford, Deputy Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Energy, Environment and Democratic Services at Nottingham City Council, said: “The two electric bin lorries are the first ones off the production line – which is very exciting for Nottingham. This is recognition of Nottingham’s place as a leader in the Electric Vehicle field and putting innovative EVs into operation.

“These vehicles are yet another first for Nottingham, adding to our award-winning, innovative fleet of zero emission vehicles which already boasts the first fully electric sweepers, cage tippers and minibuses to be run by a local authority in the UK. We are leading by example and electrifying the refuse collection fleet is a major step forward in our aims to deliver clean air in our city and a huge step towards our carbon neutral goals.

“A total of 30 per cent of our vehicles are fully electric, emitting no tailpipe emissions whatsoever and these lorries further underline our commitment to having a fleet which consists of as many ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEV) as possible by 2028.

Andrew Smith, Assistant Fleet Manager, said: “In the first few weeks, we have saved around 60 to 70 litres of diesel per truck per day. That’s more than 360kg of CO2 per day we’ve not pumped into the atmosphere.

“They’re out at 6.30am and finishing around 1.30pm, collecting a full load then a smaller one – up to 18 tonnes in all – and coming back with 40% charge remaining. The vehicles’ power and manoeuvrability means they’re finishing around an hour earlier and are able to handle hills with full loads much better than their diesel counterparts.

“The team absolutely love them and don’t want to go back to the diesel.”

Richard Taylor, Sales and Marketing Director at Dennis Eagle said: “It’s very encouraging to work with a forward-thinking local authority like Nottingham City Council. Their ambitious plans will not only benefit people who live or work in the city but will also help drive the switch to electric vehicles across the UK.

“I am very proud of the eCollect and delighted that the team at Nottingham, which has genuine insight into electric vehicles, was so determined to take delivery of two of the first to roll off our production line.”

The vehicles are the first Dennis Eagle eCollect to be delivered to a customer and the first to be manufactured as a ‘one-stop shop build’ from a single supplier – the Terberg Rosroca Group. Nottingham City Council already has 150 zero emission vehicles. The council is making great strides toward reducing the carbon and nitrogen dioxide impacts of transport in Nottingham.

Details of a naming competition will be launched in the new year – watch this space!