Why Brighton and Hove’s new bin lorries look like being diesel-powered rather than electric

Old rubbish trucks in Brighton and Hove are likely to be replaced with diesel rather than electric vehicles.

The ageing fleet of 53 bin lorries is overdue to be replaced, according to a report going before a Brighton and Hove City Council committee next Tuesday (26 November).

Repeated breakdowns have resulted in extra spending on repairs, replacement vehicle hire and overtime to cover missed work.

Missed collections are also described in the report as “damaging the council’s reputation”.

The Spearhead

Diesel is the chosen option as electric refuse collection trucks are expensive and the power drains quickly if the trucks have to go uphill – a necessity in Brighton and Hove.

The electric bin lorries also cost an extra £143,671 each which would mean spending £792 more to save one tonne of CO2.

Cityclean tested bin lorries fitted with electric lifting and compressing gear but these were found to be too slow and unreliable.

Members of the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee are being asked to approve a fleet renewal strategy.

The aim would be to replace the oldest vehicles first as they are the most expensive to maintain.

As the technology improves and prices come down, the council expects to shift towards electric, hydrogen and other technology for its fleet.

The council has 350 vehicles including refuse and recycling trucks, street sweepers, gritting lorries, vans, large tractors, mowers and pool cars.

This will increase to 465 vehicles next year when the Mears housing repairs contract is brought in-house to be run by the council.

The council said that it also has 500 pieces of motorised equipment such as grass mowers and chainsaws.

It is expected to have to borrow money – a move that will need approval from the council’s Policy and Resources Committee when it meets next month.

The process of buying new specialist vehicles is expected to take from nine to 12 months.

The Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee is due to meet at Hove Town Hall on Tuesday (26 November). The meeting is scheduled to start at 4pm and should be open to the public.

  1. Peter Challis Reply

    Lets hope that Nancy Platts insists that the new refuse trucks are electric – otherwise how will we ever meet her zero-carbon target by 2030?

    And if she does get her way, where will she get the additional funding from Where will she get the additional money from?

  2. Rolivan Reply

    Could it not come out of The Parking revenue ‘Profit’ instead of borrowing as surely it comes under Transport.

  3. Rostrum Reply

    If don’t care if they’re steam powered as long as they come reliably and efficiently and empty my bleedin bins…………..

  4. Derek Reply

    It looks as though the council has come up against the reality of what zero CO2 emissions really means, which is huge cost increases for very little gain. And all this would have zero effect on the climate.

  5. Shoki Kaneda Reply

    Diesel and hydraulics – a perfect match.

  6. Richard Simpson Reply

    So, here’s an ideal solution.


    You can make it ‘carbon-positive’ if you build a biodigester to process the waste that the trucks collect.

    Scania or Renault will sell you a gas-powered refuse chassis, fit with the bodywork of your choice and smile!

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