‘Upcycle’ polluting vehicles to electric to help 2030 car ban

GB News guests debate using electric cars

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The Government is still pressing ahead with its pledge to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030, followed by a similar ban on hybrids after 2035. Speaking to Express.co.uk, David Lorenz, founder and CEO of Lunaz, said “upcycling” vehicles is the way forward to ensure the number of petrol and diesel vehicles on the road is reduced in the future.

The company specialises in upcycling old diesel vehicles and upgrading them to Upcycled Electric Vehicles (UEV), making them more sustainable and reducing waste.

He said: “Our sole focus here is a fully clean powertrain. It’s not about emissions coming out of the tailpipe, we’ve got an opportunity here, especially with the vehicle classes we look at.

“You just can’t scrap these vehicles. As you think about producing new internal combustion engine vehicles, what’s going to happen to them?

“We’re continuing to produce them and if we continue to produce them all the way until 2030 – what fundamentally happens to those vehicles? No one is answering this yet.

“It produces more vehicles for Lunaz to look at because you have to look at upcycling.

“Otherwise you’re going to have all these ICE vehicles in good conditions still driving in 2040 and beyond.”

Petrol, diesel and hybrid HGVs over 26 tonnes could be banned from 2040, subject to a Government consultation.

Former Transport Secretary Anne-Marie confirmed that the 2030 ban would go ahead, to ensure that all new cars and vans are fully zero emission at the tailpipe from 2035.

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Mr Lorenz said upcycling was one of the best ways the automotive industry could speed up decarbonisation and to ensure emissions aren’t spread around the world.

He added: “What happens with a vehicle now is it comes to its ‘end of life’ which is maybe seven years. If it’s a refuse truck, it’s done 80,000 miles, if it’s a scaffolding truck it’s done 300,000 miles.

“Yet we deem them both at the same end of life because the lease agreement is up and we ship them out of the country and they’re going to get longer hours out of them.

“This ‘carbon postboxing’ element of pushing emissions around the globe is not going to help us.

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“We can’t just sit here and say ‘our cities have clean air’ but the world emissions are the same, if not worse.

“We’ve really got to understand that cradle – from where the vehicle is today – and converting it into an upcycled electric vehicle like we do at Lunaz.”

In July, Lunaz announced the establishment of its expanded upcycling campus at Silverstone Technology Park in Northamptonshire. Other establishments are also available to help do this.

The state-of-the-art upcycling and electrification plant will add 140,000 square feet to the company’s existing facilities – which is the first of its kind in the world.

It also creates additional space for Lunaz Applied Technologies (LAT), which upcycles diesel-powered industrial vehicles.

Once at the factory, vehicles like recycling trucks are restored to brand new condition and converted to full electric power.

These Upcycled Electric Vehicles (UEVs) also incorporate significant safety, connectivity and ergonomic improvements, empowering fleet operators and local authorities to progress toward net-zero emissions.

In November, Monika Dernai, sustainability team lead at BMW, told an audience in London that the automotive industry could reduce waste by encouraging people to hang on to their existing cars.

She suggested that drivers could retrofit them with upgrades to keep them fresh instead of constantly buying new models.

Dernai added that skills could be developed so that an old seat could be replaced with a new seat, refreshing the car without scrapping the car entirely.

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