The German city of Gelsenkirchen is testing a new electric vehicle for waste collection.
The small transporter will be used primarily to collect paper waste from the city centre and one additional neighbourhood.
Built by DHL subsidiary Streetscooter GmbH, the vehicle has a modest 30 kilowatt motor which allows for a maximum speed of 80 km/h and a range of 80 km per charge. Deutsche Post DHL currently uses some 2,000 similar vehicles for post and parcel deliveries.
'Electric vehicles do not emit any toxic pollutants and are virtually silent,' said Ulrich W. Husemann, director of Gelsendienste. 'This makes them ideal for inner-city routes with frequent starts and stops.'
At present the city administration owns 12 electric vehicles - but this could soon increase. 'If the vehicle stands the test, we will look into expanding into other areas of the city administration,' said Lord Mayor Frank Baranowski at a launch event for the new vehicle.
A cost-benefit analysis will determine whether the low-emission vehicles could play a larger role in the city administration. Gelsendienste is optimistic, citing 90 percent lower maintenance costs largely due to fewer moving parts.
At least one further model of electric vehicle is planned to undergo similar testing in the city.
For more information, visit waz.de (in German).