Lunaz Applied Technologies (LAT)’s upcycling campus within the Silverstone Technology Cluster, Northamptonshire, is now fully operational following a major expansion.
A first of its kind in the world, the facility occupies a total of 200,000 square feet, nearly four times its original size when it opened in 2018, said the company, which specialises in upcycling and reengineering of industrial fleet vehicles to factory new standards.
The expansion means LAT can significantly increase production of its upcycled electric vehicles (UEVs), with capacity to produce 1,100 vehicles per year, the company said. Upcycling involves taking conventional diesel-powered refuse trucks alongside other commercial vehicles and converting them to fully electric power when they reach the end of their normal working lives.
“From this state-of-the-art facility, we unlock the power of upcycling, providing UEVs that are cleaner, cheaper and better equipped than their all-new equivalents,” the company’s founder David Lorenz said, adding that Lunaz now has the largest manufacturing footprint of any company within the Silverstone Technology Cluster.
Research shows upcycling carries over more than 80% of the originally embedded carbon from the initial vehicle production process when compared to buying new, the company said. An independent audit showed that the LAT model preserves the equivalent weight of the Eiffel Tower in carbon every year.
The additional space allows LAT to bring most of the upcycling in-house, giving it total quality control at every stage of the production process and enabling seamless integration of its proprietary technologies.
LAT has already completely designed its own battery packs, fitted to the UEV the bottom up. This allows its engineers to have full control over the technology and chemistry, enabling an optimum power delivery solution based on each vehicle’s application, the company said. Batteries are fully assembled and tested on site at Silverstone allowing LAT’s world-class team to have complete oversight of quality control of these critical components, it added.
In another industry first, LAT has developed a unique electric power take-off (ePTO) to drive the rear bin-lifting apparatus for its upcycled refuse trucks. In a normal vehicle this is powered by the diesel engine: with the ePTO, LAT has overcome the challenge of taking power from an electric vehicle (EV) battery while the vehicle itself is stationary, opening up possibilities for other commercial vehicle applications.
In keeping with its wider environmental mission, the LAT facility is powered entirely by renewable energy, the company said.
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