The two British companies will combine expertise to give Biffa trucks a new lease of life by replacing diesel engines with electric. This ensures older vehicles are upcycled instead of scrapped as Biffa transitions its fleet to zero-emissions powertrains.
In signing a fleet electrification and upcycling agreement, Lunaz is supporting the transition of Biffa’s existing diesel refuse trucks over the next decade to clean-air electric powertrains through its proprietary upcycling and electrification technology.
This multi-year production programme aims to see growing numbers of vehicles delivered to Biffa over the mid-term with an initial order of up to ten 26-tonne Upcycled Electric Vehicle (UEV) refuse trucks, expected to save up to 210 tonnes in embedded carbon.
Lunaz’ home in Silverstone, England has the capacity to upcycle more than 1,110 industrial vehicles every year, aiming to meet surging EV demand in the run-up to the 2030 ban on the sale of fossil fuelled vehicles.
According to a report by the World Economic Forum, for the waste management industry to limit temperature increases to no more than 1.5°C, two thirds of trucks sold this decade must be zero emissions.
However, scrapping millions of serviceable vehicles increases the carbon burden in waste and the manufacturing process, Lunaz said, adding that its circular economy approach addresses this and represents a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) saving versus existing diesel equivalents or new EVs, creating an ‘economically viable route to fleet transition’.
Following successful completion of technical trials and due diligence, first deliveries will take place for operations on UK refuse collection routes this year. Biffa’s UEV refuse trucks will operate on both commercial and municipal waste collection routes.
According to the two companies, the procurement of these vehicles represents significant savings for the taxpayer with more than £1m in public money saved for every 20 vehicles upcycled and electrified versus buying new EV equivalents.
The partnership forms a key part of Biffa’s long-term sustainability commitments in line with the UN’s sustainable development goals.
This includes reducing emissions by 50 per cent by 2030 (building on a 70 per cent reduction in emissions since 2002), cessation of buying fossil fuelled trucks ‘as soon as practicable’ and a commitment to building a circular economy.
Lunaz said that every upcycled vehicle it produces saves 82 per cent of the embedded carbon within that vehicle. At full capacity, its factory will save the equivalent weight of the Eiffel Tower every year in embedded carbon by upcycling rather than scrapping existing fleet vehicles, the company said.
Through its ‘1 for 1’ policy, it ensures decommissioning of every fossil fuel engine before recycling its components. This practice ensures existing polluting engines are completely eradicated and replaced with clean-air equivalents.
“By working with Lunaz to meet our goal of buying no more fossil fuelled vehicles by 2030 while breaking the replace-with-new cycle, we pioneer an approach in this industry that saves millions of tonnes in embedded carbon,” said Maxine Mayhew, COO collection & specialist services at Biffa.
“I am proud that every electric vehicle upcycled by Lunaz for Biffa’s fleet will mean one less tailpipe emission emitting vehicle for our planet.
David Lorenz, founder and CEO of Lunaz, added: “By embracing the power of upcycling as a dramatically more sustainable course to the transition to a clean air fleet, Biffa delivers economic value to its stakeholders while delivering a great ecological dividend to the planet.”