Local authorities will ultimately save money by switching from diesel-powered garbage trucks to electric trucks, according to new research from environmental consultancy Eunomia. Switching to electric trucks would also reduce UK greenhouse CO2 emissions by 290 kilotonnes per year and reduce air pollution within individual constituencies, according to the organization’s cost-benefit analysis of switching to electric trucks.
“Many councils are also looking at how they can tackle harmful, and sometimes illegal, levels of air pollution within their constituencies, and all have limited budgets — this research suggests an [electric refuse vehicle] rollout could help to address all these challenges,” according to the report.
The report also points out that, as the electric grid decarbonizes in coming years, the GHG emissions savings will be even greater.
While capital costs associated with electric garbage collection trucks are greater than diesel vehicles – and, not insignificantly, the relevant infrastructure would need to be established — this initial outlay is “often justified by operational savings via lower running costs,” according to the report. Money would also be saved by not having to spend on cleaning up environmental damage caused by diesel vehicles.
The report points out that electric refuse vehicles are currently being deployed in eight countries around the world, including in some parts of the UK.