The rigorous hill-climb element of an extensive testing program has been finalized by Lunaz Applied Technologies (LAT) for its Upcycled Electric Vehicles (UEVs). The tests were carried out at the Millbrook Proving Ground, a specialist test and development site in Bedfordshire, UK.
The development UEVs under test are refuse trucks based on the Mercedes Econic platform. To be labeled as UEVs, they underwent a conversion process that replaced the original diesel engine with a fully electric Lunaz powertrain. This process also included a range of other safety, connectivity and ergonomic improvements.
When tasked with the 1:5 gradient at the Millbrook Proving Ground, the UEV, which was fully laden with its crusher body, a driver and two crew members, ascended the hill without an issue, with 1,000Nm of torque in reserve. By completing the test, the company’s UEVs are now validated for use on most residential roads around the world.
The gradient test was carried out as part of the company’s ongoing 10-year vehicle development program, which has been compressed into two years by testing five identical Mercedes Econic UEVs at the same time. Furthermore, the vehicles are currently undergoing 483,000km of durability testing on the proving ground’s cobbled road, 500 hours of driver calibration and 800 hours of energy optimization. The vehicle’s top speed of 90km/h will also be tested for over 200 hours. A range of noise, vibration and harshness tests will also be conducted to ensure the well-being of the vehicle’s workforce during operations.
The testing program is scheduled to conclude before the first fleet deliveries in 2023.
“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 well-being of the drivers and crew who operate these vehicles, and provide a critical reduction in the environmental impact that all-new refuse trucks make. A UEV achieves this not only by way of its clean-air powertrain but by unlocking the embedded carbon trapped in scrapped trucks.”