Lunaz, a British electric vehicle startup better known for electrifying classic cars, has revealed a garbage truck with a quick-swap battery pack that can be replaced in 10 minutes.
The upcycled truck, which is based on the Mercedes-Benz Econic platform, is said to be cleaner, cheaper and better-equipped than an all-new electric equivalent. Lunaz says the trucks will operate in several areas of the UK, including a number of London boroughs.
Putting out over 5,000 lbs ft of torque, the refuse truck by Lunaz Applied Technologies (LAT) will be fitted with battery packs ranging in size from 275 kWh to a massive 400 kWh – the latter being four times that of a Tesla Model S. These battery packs vary in size depending on the truck’s garbage collection route, and can be swapped out in ten minutes, a process that is far quicker than recharging.
When designing the vehicle, Lunaz consulted with refuse truck drivers and garbage collectors to understand their needs when it comes to material selection and interior ergonomics. In a bid to make them more comfortable, the seats use the same padding materials as the electrified classic Bentleys and Rolls-Royces built by Lunaz.
One such electrified classic car, a Jaguar XK140, was recently given by soccer player and Lunaz investor David Beckham to his son Brooklyn as a wedding gift.
The truck seats are covered in a hard-wearing vinyl that was discovered by Lunaz when visiting the W Hotel in Osaka, Japan.
Feedback from truck drivers also led to the truck being fitted with cup holders for all occupants, not just the driver, and a shelf has been installed with access to wireless and USB charging. The Mercedes analogue dashboard gauges have been replaced with a 12-inch, high-definition display showing range, power usage, route data and other drivetrain information. The cabin also features two, 10-inch displays joined together and showing a 360-degree, bird’s-eye view of the truck and its surroundings. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also both included.
Yet another display, this time measuring 14 inches, replaces conventional rear-view mirrors and shows imagery captured by two assemblies each housing three cameras and mounted to the top corners of the vehicle. This vision system features object detection technology that highlights cyclists, pedestrians and other hazards the driver should be aware of.
Although not revealing a price just yet, Lunaz Applied Technologies says its truck is cheaper than a newly-built alternative.
David Lorenz, founder of Lunaz, said: “In upcycling these end-of-life internal combustion engined commercial and industrial vehicles with our electric powertrain, LAT UEVs [upcycled electric vehicles] are cleaner, less expensive and better equipped than their all-new equivalents. In addition, they are far quieter than their ICE [internal combustion engine] counterparts.”