An electric powered truck is set to become a permanent member of Gwynedd Council’s recycling fleet after Welsh Government grant funding was secured.
As the authority bids to reduce its carbon footprint, it was confirmed that the cash will allow the authority to purchase an electric vehicle to join its refuse service.
Promised to be quieter than traditional refuse lorries, the trucks are also capable of travelling up to about 80 miles between charges.
But in order to fulfill the geographical challenges posed by the terrain in parts of Gwynedd, it has previously been mooted that Hydrogen powered vehicles may also be needed in the event of a fully carbon-free fleet.
The successful funding bid – of which the amount has not yet been disclosed – follows the trial of a similar electric vehicle earlier this year.
Cllr Catrin Wager, Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Municipal matters, confirmed that funding had been secured at a recent cabinet meeting.
She added: “As a council we’re committed to tackling climate change, and part of this commitment is to introduce more electric vehicles into our fleet over the coming years.
“I am very pleased that the first electric vehicles will join the council’s recycling and waste collection fleet in the coming months and I am hopeful that more low carbon vehicles will follow.
“Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to see a similar electric vehicle being trialled here in Gwynedd and it’s clear that there is great potential to make further use of such vehicles over the coming years.
“The new vehicle will contribute to our goal of reducing carbon emissions.
“As I saw from the trial some months ago, these vehicles will be quieter as they travel through communities and can travel up to about 80 miles between charges.
“We will be assessing which areas of the county these electric vehicles will work best, as vehicles of different sizes operate in some communities depending on the geography of the areas.
“Although electric vehicles will be the first to arrive, we will continue to monitor developments in the field to see if there is potential to invest in hydrogen powered vehicles in the future that could be more suitable in some landscapes and areas of the county.”
Cabinet members heard that the authority is currently recycling, reusing or composting 67% of all material, ahead of the current Welsh Government target of 64% but with further work necessary to hit the 70% needed by 2024/25.
It was also noted that 15,000 of the county’s 17,500 street lights have by now been changed to the more energy efficient LED lights, also resulting in significant savings as well as slashing the 2014/15 emissions by a third.