Dennis launches compact electric refuse vehicle

Dennis Eagle has introduced a smaller version of the electric refuse collection vehicle that the Warwick, UK-based manufacturer put into production in 2020. The 4x2 eCollect is an 18-tonne model aimed at use in urban areas with restricted access, which Dennis says often suffer from poor air quality making moves towards zero-emissions vehicles urgent. The 4x2 has a 10 cubic metre body capable of taking 4.8 tonnes of rubbish, the same as its diesel equivalent.

It is also built around a narrow-track chassis, like its larger 6x2 sister model, ensuring it can easily manoeuvre in tight residential streets. Three battery packs are fitted in contrast to the five of the 6x2, and are placed one on each side and one in the centre to ensure a balanced load. They provide the 200kW drivetrain - the same as in the 6x2 - with 180kWh of power, which Dennis states is ample to complete a typical double-shift daily round between charges.

Charging, through an outside 600v DC CCS2 connection, is considerably quicker than with the 6x2, the vehicle taking 3.5 hours to go from 15% to fully-charged. The 4x2 eCollect is fitted with a 5-star DVS rated Elite 6 cab, which provides space for a driver and up to three crew. It also is supplied as standard with a DE-Connect telematics system which Dennis says is industry-leading.

Testing and homologation of the 4x2 eCollect has included trialling a vehicle in the Kensington & Chelsea borough in London. Over a period in the spring the vehicle was put on a variety of collection routes, travelling around 35 miles a day which is representative of the urban market the vehicle is being aimed at. The trial vehicle typically returned after a double-shift with between 30-35% of its charge remaining.

Dennis also pointed out other advantages of using the electric vehicle - it completed its rounds more quickly due to the instant acceleration from its drivetrain, helping traffic flow, and its virtually silent operation was less disturbing for residents.