Electric bin lorry ‘upcycled’ by losing diesel engine may be UK-ready

Electric vehicle infrastructure is vital for transition says expert

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Lunaz Applied Technologies (LAT) has finalised the hill climb component on an “extensive” testing programme of its Upcycled Electric Vehicles (UEVs). The test took place at the world-renowned test and development facility Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire. The development UEVs tested were refuse trucks on the Mercedes Econic platform. In achieving this milestone, Lunaz UEVs are validated for nearly all residential roads globally. They are receiving considerable interests from foreign governments the world over who wish to benefit from the upcycled electric technology.

These vehicles have been subject to an upcycling process that includes the replacement of the vehicle’s diesel engine with a fully electric Lunaz powertrain as well as incorporating a suite of the latest safety, connectivity and ergonomic improvements.

The development UEVs tested were refuse trucks on the Mercedes Econic platform.

In achieving this milestone, Lunaz UEVs are validated for nearly all residential roads globally.

They are receiving considerable interests from foreign governments the world over, who wish to benefit from the upcycled electric technology.

The UEV has a top speed of 56mph, which has been described as a significant figure given that most vehicles in the same class are only capable of 35mph.

It will continue to undergo rigorous testing in the future, for more than 200 hours.

David Lorenz, CEO of Lunaz, praised the vehicle and its impressive results from the performance testing. 

He said: “I believe that every vehicle deserves at least two lives, and I am extremely proud of the engineers who are in the process of not just delivering but validating this vision. 

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“Our Upcycled Electric Vehicles represent so much more than technological innovation.

“They deliver a major improvement for the wellbeing of the drivers and crew who operate these vehicles and provide a critical reduction in the environmental impact all-new refuse trucks make. 

“A UEV achieves this not only by way of its clean-air powertrain but in unlocking the embedded carbon trapped in scrapped trucks.”

LAT’s exhaustive testing programme will conclude ahead of the first fleet deliveries in 2023.

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Of particular note was the UEVs exceptional performance on the challenging 1:5 gradient of the proving ground.

The hill climb test was conducted as part of LAT’s ongoing ten-year development programme, compressed into two years by testing five identical Mercedes Econic UEVs simultaneously. 

The vehicle was fully prepared for a refuse collection round with a “crusher” body mounted and occupied by a driver and two crew.

It completed the hill “effortlessly” and still had 1,000nm of torque in reverse – equivalent to the 253mph Bugatti Veyron.

The hill climb test was conducted as part of LAT’s ongoing ten-year development programme, compressed into two years by testing five identical Mercedes Econic UEVs simultaneously. 

These vehicles are currently being subject to 300,000 miles of durability testing on Millbrook Proving Ground’s famously demanding “Belgian Pave” cobbled road.

This includes more than 500 hours of driver calibration, where pedal feel, power delivery and braking endurance are finessed, and 800 hours of energy optimisation, balancing power consumption with performance. 

Significant resources are being applied to testing and improving noise, vibration and harshness conditions in these vehicles. 

Sister brand Lunaz Design has supplied an electrified 1961 Bentley Continental Flying Spur for acoustic benchmarking purposes, supporting LAT engineers’ target of a 40 percent reduction in cabin noise compared to a diesel Mercedes Econic.

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