Refuse truck to be propelled with military engine

A waste collection vehicle equipped with military technology will soon go on trial in a pioneering move which should result in significant fuel savings.

Refuse collection vehicle manufacturer Dennis Eagle has struck a deal with BAE Systems to integrate a heavy duty hybrid electric propulsion system into one of its low-entry cab vehicles.

Field trials are due to commence shortly and if they go well, Dennis Eagle hopes to offer HybriDrive-powered vehicles to the market towards the end of 2012. The trials will directly compare the new technology with a normal Euro 5 engine refuse vehicle combination.

Dennis Eagle’s managing director, Norman Thoday, says the propulsion technology should lead to a more efficient electric engine, making acceleration quicker and smoother. Noise levels will also be significantly reduced with the vehicle is in electric mode.

He also believes the new engines will cut fuel costs by a fifth – a significant figure as a refuse vehicle can consume up to £20,000 on fuel each year.

Speaking to edie, Thoday said: “We’re obviously very excited about getting involved with this type of project. The current pressure is on fuel as prices continue to rise and there could potentially be an availability issue in the future.

“This means that any new technology in terms of hybrid or anything related to diesel alternatives is something that we’re very keen to pursue.”

The deal was finalised at this month’s Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham.

Maxine Perella

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