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Council plugged into new electric refuse collection vehicle

05 August 2021

Councillor Liam O'Rourke and Lee Rowland from Dennis next to the parked eCollect.

Rochdale Borough Council has taken another step forward in the bid to meet climate change targets by 2038 by taking delivery of an all-electric refuse wagon for a short trial.

The Dennis Eagle eCollect, a fully integrated electric refuse collection wagon, will be the first time a vehicle like this will be trialled in service as the council is continually looking at ways to reduce carbon footprint and improve air quality.

The vehicle is powered with an electric drive system instead of diesel to collect 20 tonnes of waste on an 8-hour shift before it needs recharging, typically overnight for 6–7 hours.

5 packs of lithium-ion batteries, each with 12 cells to a pack, produce 300 kilowatt-hours of power to drive the 200 kilowatt motor. 

The battery packs are carefully positioned on the chassis under the body for optimum load distribution and payload. 

Much like a mobile phone, battery levels are displayed on the vehicle cluster so the driver always knows how much battery life is left.

Councillor Liam O'Rourke, cabinet member for environment and facilities, said: "We're delighted to be trialling this pioneering electric refuse vehicle, which will give us a much more detailed insight into just what these vehicles can offer and how well they could fit into our service delivery plans.

"I am utterly proud that we're leading the way and doing everything possible to reduce carbon emissions across the borough of Rochdale and beyond. It's simply another step towards our commitment to the GM Clean Air Plan and our ambitious climate change targets. Poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to the public's health, so we need to act now."

Dennis Eagle's sales and marketing manager, Lee Rowland, added: "The eCollect offers zero emissions; much quieter operation and is designed to operate in busy urban environments.

"Feedback from trials has been positive, with drivers and crew enjoying the drive and familiarity of the eCollect. We're confident this highly efficient and cost-effective vehicle will meet Rochdale Borough Council's operational needs as well as its aim for a cleaner, greener future."

The eCollect parked next to a council electric van.

The eCollect will be trialled over 5 days in August and will complement the council's existing fleet of 18 fully electric vehicles in service at environmental management headquarters in Heywood, which are all fitted with the new type green number plates.