Battery powered or fuelled by waste food oil – all change for NWLDC’s vehicles as it strives for Zero Carbon

Published: Fri 1 October, 2021

All North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) vehicles will be low or zero emission in the next three years as part of its work to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Through a £5.2 million Zero Carbon investment agreed by the council’s Cabinet * on Tuesday 21 September, all 114 of the authority’s vehicles will be replaced with either battery electric vehicles or will run on waste food oil by 2024.

The new vehicle fleet will reduce emissions significantly, and the electric vehicles will result in an estimated carbon saving of 1,221 tonnes of CO2 over the vehicles’ lifetime.

The council uses a mix of refuse collection vehicles, parks maintenance vehicles, medium sized panel vans and smaller vehicles alongside more specialist equipment, such as sweepers and mowers.

The cars and vans in the fleet will be replaced with battery electric vehicles (BEVs), with charging points installed at key locations.

The larger and more specialist vehicles that currently run on diesel, including waste collection trucks, street sweepers, mowers and tractors, will be replaced with vehicles that can use Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO), a by-product from the food waste industry.

This decision will immediately remove 100% of CO2 emissions from the non-electric fleet.  The council will review technologies regularly to consider whether completely zero emission options become viable for its larger and more specialist vehicles.

Councillor Andrew Woodman, Portfolio Holder for Community Services at NWLDC, said: “This is a significant step for us on our Zero Carbon journey – our vehicles currently contribute to our carbon footprint, particularly our waste lorries that are big, heavy diesel vehicles.

“Moving onto zero or low emission vehicles and alternative fuel is a great investment for this council. We hope to lead by example and encourage other businesses and organisations in the district to make decisions to move us all towards zero carbon.

“I look forward to seeing the new vehicles on the road soon.”

* Funding is subject to approval by Full Council on 16 November 2021. 

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