BlogLatest NewsTry before you buy: weighing up the pros and cons of electric waste collections

Try before you buy: weighing up the pros and cons of electric waste collections

Try before you buy: weighing up the pros and cons of electric waste collections


The push towards cleaner and greener transportation has intensified in recent years, driven by initiatives such as Euro 6 and VI emissions standards, Clean Air Zones, and ambitious carbon reduction targets. Among the sectors leading the charge towards sustainability are local councils, with over half of them in the UK having committed to reducing their carbon footprint by signing the Climate Emergency declaration. As part of this commitment, many councils are exploring alternative fuels, including hydrogen, HVO, and electric power, with the aim of achieving Net Zero emissions by 2030.

However, transitioning to alternative fuel vehicles, particularly electric ones, requires careful consideration. Before investing in a fleet of electric vehicles, local authority fleet operators must thoroughly evaluate the benefits and challenges of this technology. Factors such as infrastructure readiness, charging capabilities, staff training, and costs must first be considered.

In the case of electric waste collection vehicles, councils must ensure they have the necessary infrastructure and resources in place to support these vehicles before making the switch. This includes charging stations, skilled staff, and adequate workshop equipment. Additionally, the higher upfront cost of electric vehicles compared to traditional diesel ones presents a significant financial consideration.

To address these challenges and make electric refuse vehicle technology more accessible, we have introduced a unique solution: electric refuse vehicles (eRCV) available for short term hire.

We have two eRCVs for hire, both Renault Trucks E-Tech D Wide electric rear-steer chassis fitted with Dennis Eagle bodies and Terberg bin lifts, powered by lithium batteries and available for short to medium-term hire. An initiative that enables councils to trial electric vehicle technology on their own collection rounds before committing to a purchase.

Several councils have already taken advantage of this opportunity, and their feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with councillors and waste management heads praising the opportunity to test electric refuse vehicles in real-world conditions.

Councillor Ernest Gibson, Lead Member for Housing and Transport, South Tyneside Council said: “We’re delighted to be the first local council to test this new electric refuse collection vehicle from CTS Hire and give our waste collection crews the chance to work with the latest technology.

Preston City Council undertook a 6-week trial of one of the eRCVs to be in a ‘better position to understand what we want.’

Duncan Coward, Head of Waste Management, Preston Council: “CTS Hire have provided us with the perfect opportunity to have an electric RCV for an extended period to gain a deeper understanding of this type of vehicle without being committed to a long-term purchase.”

Similarly, Wrexham County Borough Council (WCBC) took the opportunity to put one of our eRCVs through its paces, assessing how it performed against that of a conventional diesel vehicle ‘to make informed decisions about their viability for potential use in Wrexham in the future’.

For councils seeking a longer-term solution to fleet decarbonisation, we have a contract hire, fleet management, and vehicle maintenance division - Specialist Fleet Services Ltd (SFS), which specialises in helping local authorities implement electric vehicle fleets, providing support with infrastructure setup, workshop preparation, staff training, route planning, and maintenance scheduling.

From short-term trials to long-term fleet management solutions, we are committed to helping councils navigate the transition to cleaner, greener transportation and achieve their sustainability goals.


  • Recommend:
  • Share: