Lunaz is moving on with the development of its upcycled electric vehicles (UEVs), having completed a “demanding” hill-climb as part of its lengthy testing programme at Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire, UK.
The Mercedes Econic platform serves as the foundation for the Lunaz waste trucks. They have undergone a retrofit process that includes replacing the vehicle’s diesel engine with a completely electric Lunaz powertrain and implementing a suite of the most recent safety, connection, and ergonomic upgrades.
The trucks are undergoing testing at the Millbrook proving ground, ascending a 20% gradient while equipped with a refuse truck body and still had 1,000Nm of torque in reserve, claims the manufacturer. By reaching this milestone, the vehicles have been certified for practically all residential roads worldwide.
“I believe that every vehicle deserves at least two lives, and I am extremely proud of the engineers who are in the process of not just delivering but validating this vision” said David Lorenz, CEO of Lunaz. “Our Upcycled Electric Vehicles represent so much more than technological innovation - they deliver a major improvement for the wellbeing of the drivers and crew who operate these vehicles and provide a critical reduction in the environmental impact all-new refuse trucks make. A UEV achieves this not only by way of its clean-air powertrain but in unlocking the embedded carbon trapped in scrapped trucks.”
The UK-based company anticipates converting more than 1,000 commercial vehicles every year.
Lunaz says it has cut a 10-year research programme in half by testing five identical recycled Mercedes Econics at the same time. These trucks are presently undergoing 300,000 miles of durability testing on the ‘Belgian Pave’ cobbled road at Millbrook Proving Ground, as well as more than 500 hours of driver callibration and 800 hours of energy optimisation.