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Council using diesel generators to charge electric bin lorries

26 May 2023 2 minute read
A Cardiff Council waste collection vehicle being charged by a diesel powered generator.

Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter

Cardiff Council has confirmed that it has been using diesel generators to charge some of its electric bin lorries.

The local authority has been using Dennis Eagle eCollect electric waste collection vehicles since 2021 to further transition its fleet away from diesel and to aid its mission to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

An anonymous source made the Local Democracy Reporting Service aware of images showing one of the council’s electric waste collection vehicles being charged by a diesel generator.

Cardiff Council said it has been using the diesel generators as a temporary measure to mitigate a fault between the new vehicles and the electric chargers at Lamby Way.

A spokesperson for Cardiff Council said: “The council’s waste department is modernising to ensure that both the workforce and the vehicles that are used can deliver an efficient service for residents.

“For some time, the council has been transitioning away from diesel vehicles towards electric and we currently have 12 electric vehicles in our fleet.

“The council has infrastructure at Lamby Way Depot to charge electric vehicles.

“This equipment charges the smaller vehicles without any issue, but a software problem between these electric chargers and the new electric Dennis Eagle RCV vehicles, causes the system to ‘trip’.

“To mitigate this, the council does have portable diesel generators onsite which are being used on a temporary basis when issues occur.

“This is being used while we wait for portable electrical chargers, which are engineered by the vehicle manufacturer – Denis Eagle – to be installed.”

Carbon neutral

Cardiff Council’s One Planet Cardiff strategy, which sets out the local authority’s plans to become carbon neutral by 2030, was approved in October 2021.

As part of its plans to reduce carbon emissions, the council said it will look to move its fleet away from diesel-powered vehicles to electric and other clean-fuel vehicles.

Cardiff Council’s cabinet approved the phased purchasing of a new waste and recycling collection fleet over a two year period in March 2021.

The council ordered five Dennis Eagle eCollect vehicles in June 2021 after its first went into service in April 2021.

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1 year ago

Only a low percentage of “clean” electricity is generated using wind, nuclear and hydro. About 70% is still generated using gas and a smaller amount by coal. People think that by using battery powered vehicles they are helping to “save the planet”. The truth is that the electricity used to charge their batteries is produced by polluting power stations. So there is hardly any difference now than before using battery powered vehicles. But it looks good although it’s not!

Stephen Beynon
Stephen Beynon
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank

In the UK Gas was 38.5% and Coal was 1.5% of electricity generation last year. Wind was 26.8%
The grid is getting cleaner very fast.

Steve Woods
Steve Woods
1 year ago

Pass the greenwash bucket!

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