Transport for London (TfL) has granted Lunaz permission to operate its upcycled electric refuse vehicles across London.
Lunaz’s upcycled electric vehicles (UEVs) have achieved a five-star Direct Vision Standard (DVS) for driver visibility. Under TfL rules, this means the electric vehicle manufacturer’s fleet will be able to operate across the capital.
DVS was developed by researchers, academics and representatives from the freight industry, Europe’s leading HGV manufacturers and regulatory bodies. Introduced in 2019, with enforcement beginning in 2021, DVS aims to improve visibility through cab windows of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) over 12 tonnes.
From 28 October 2024, all HGVs driving into Greater London will need to meet a three-star safety rating. Any HGVs that don’t achieve this rating will be required to install a Progressive Safe System (PSS) to obtain a permit from TfL.
Lunaz said the go-ahead of TfL is a “significant step” towards more local authorities’ adopting its UEVs as replacements for their end-of-life diesel refuse trucks. Utilising UEVs minimises the lifetime environmental impact of operating commercial vehicle fleets, Lunaz said.
Lunaz founder David Lorenz commented: “This accreditation enables operators to obtain an HGV permit from London boroughs without any further documentary evidence or vehicle modifications. It’s also in line with (London) Mayor Sadiq Khan’s pledge to eliminate road deaths in London by 2041.
Having our UEVs fully prepared for operation in the capital is an important step towards widespread adoption.
“Having our UEVs fully prepared for operation in the capital is an important step towards widespread adoption. They’re cheaper and better-equipped than their all-new electric equivalents, representing greater value for money for local taxpayers, alongside the environmental benefits of our clean-air technology and upcycling process.”
Lunaz said its vehicles are fitted with an external camera monitoring system and the original wing mirrors are replaced with digital alternatives that eliminate rear and blind spots around the UEV. Unlike standard mirrors, these “mirrors” provide visibility under all conditions.
The driver is also able to see what’s directly in front of and below the vehicle through a dedicated downward-facing camera. Lunaz said an object detection system “instantly identifies” cyclists, pedestrians and other potential hazards, alerting the driver via the dashboard display screen.