Introducing clean waste collection vehicles

Basic Information




Thematic areas

Clean & energy-efficient vehicles
  • Cleaner fleets


In order to ensure the efficient use of scarce resources, improve air quality and increase the comfort of citizens and waste collectors in Gothenburg, an electric hybrid waste collection vehicle was developed in close collaboration with leading suppliers.

Implementing sustainable mobility

The collection of municipal solid waste in Sweden is usually performed by diesel-fuelled trucks. This conventional style of waste collection is noisy and polluting, negatively affecting the environment and disturbing residents. In conventional diesel-fuelled trucks, the engine is used inefficiently during waste collection procedures (i.e. loading waste into the vehicle and compacting it). For 40 percent of the time, the engine is used to move the vehicle. During the remaining 60 percent of the time, the truck is standing still at the pick-up points. For half of this time the engine is used to operate the waste-collection procedure, while the rest of the time it stands idle, resulting in excessive noise and emissions at pick-up points.

The main objective of the measure was therefore a full-scale demonstration of innovative clean waste collection vehicles that reduce environmental problems in terms of noise, water and air pollution. These clean vehicles represent an environmental and cost-effective approach to waste collection, reducing noise, the risk of hydraulic oil leakage, fuel consumption and emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulates (PM), hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO2).


The demonstration comprised four vehicles supplied by Mercedes Benz with additional equipment from Norba AB, which run on a daily basis in the central parts of Gothenburg. Different environmentally friendly technologies were used in the vehicle design. The chassis has a six-cylinder engine running on compressed natural gas/compressed biogas (CNG/CBG) that automatically shuts itself off at the collection point.

The bodywork is operated by an engine running on electrical power, and the traditional hydraulic oil is replaced by a solution of water, propylene glycol and anticorrosive agent. The electric engine reduces noise and emissions during the loading procedure.


Measurements indicated the elimination of noise during “idling” and a significant reduction in noise while loading. Emissions have decreased by between 50 and 65 percent (PM, CO, NOx and CO2) and by 9 percent in the case of HC compared to a conventional diesel vehicle. Fuel consumption fell by 49 percent, and the consumption of electricity is 2 kWh/tonne of collected waste.

.eu web awards
European Mobility Week
Smart Cities Marketplace
EU Logo

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of CINEA. Neither the European Union nor CINEA can be held responsible for them.

This website is hosted by an environmentally-friendly server provider.