AN electric bin lorry has been trialled in Redditch as part of work to probe alternative fuel options and ditch diesel.

Bin crews put the battery-powered truck through its paces on their rounds on Tuesday and Wednesday (May 18-19), as part of Redditch Borough Council's commitment to further cut its carbon emissions.

The trial truck was a ‘converted’ electric vehicle, a previously-diesel bin lorry that had been retrofitted and refurbished for a new lease of life.

Redditch Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services, Cllr Brandon Clayton, said: “From bin lorries to lawnmowers we’re looking into what alternative fuel options could be practical across the council’s various types of vehicles.

Every week staff collect waste or recycling bins from over 30,000 homes in Redditch using nine bin lorries, which form part of the authority’s fleet of service vehicles.

Key to the council’s ambition of decarbonising that fleet is ditching petrol and diesel for alternative fuels, which currently range from electric to hydrogen, gas, hybrid engines and others, depending on the demands of the task.

And while lower-carbon alternative fuel vehicles come with higher price tags, they can cost less per mile to run than their fossil fuel equivalents which can help reduce the financial impact.

Portfolio Holder for Climate Change, Cllr Anthony Lovell, added: “We’re looking into all the options, as all fuels have their pros and cons. Electric vehicles for example have some clear advantages, in that you cut carbon from the vehicle itself and then you can charge them with renewable electricity. The council already only uses 100 per cent renewable electricity, whether bought in from an energy supplier or generated using our solar PV.

"But then electric has its limits and won’t be suitable for every purpose.

“With the clock ultimately ticking on fossil fuels it’s less a question of if we will do it, and more a question of when and how we will do it.”