Nottingham City Council aims for carbon neutral target with seven new Schmidt eSwingos

Nottingham City Council has ordered seven fully electric Schmidt eSwingo compact sweepers as it works towards its target of becoming the UK’s first carbon neutral city. The Council has set a deadline of 2028 to achieve its net zero goal and sees the seven sweepers as an integral part of its carbon-free street cleansing plans.  

The new Schmidt eSwingos replace diesel-powered models and join a compact sweeper fleet of 21 machines, eight of which are already electric powered, and form part of the Council’s multi-purpose fleet of 475 vehicles – cars, vans, HGVs and municipal vehicles - over half of which are currently electric. Phasing out diesel across its entire fleet is one of the green target ambitions in Nottingham. The new eSwingos will be used in heavy footfall areas in the city centre, along with residential areas and housing estates further out. The plan is to operate them on double shifts between 4.30 am through to midnight. The machines will be able to charge during break times and shift change-overs and at the end of the day’s work ready for the next day’s schedule.

As part of a tender process, the Council evaluated different electric models from several sweeper manufacturers over two days, with the views of driver/operators and those of technical and workshop staff taken into consideration. Once all the final marks were totalled up, the eSwingo had come out on top, with favourable views from the drivers on its ride, handling and suction power, while the technical staff rated the ease of maintenance and quality of the build. Andrew Smith, Assistant Fleet Manager, Parking, Fleet and Transport Operations (Fleet Services) led the procurement process and explained the thinking behind the decision to go for electric operation: «We want to be the first city in the UK to be carbon neutral, but if you want the local businesses and residents to come on that journey with you, you have to walk the walk. That’s why we are aiming to be 100% electric across our fleet by 2028. We began our electric journey in 2016 and have already made significant progress in this regard as we aim to be fully carbon neutral in six years’ time. The first electric sweepers joined our fleet in 2019, and they have performed even better than expected - electric is the ideal power train for sweepers as it’s so quiet and has zero tailpipe emissions».

Andy Odger, area sales manager at Aebi Schmidt UK, who manages the relationship with Nottingham City Council, said: «Nottingham City Council is to be applauded on the steps it has taken towards achieving an-all electric fleet and carbon neutrality by 2028. The eSwingo can play a key role here as it offers both local authorities and private service contractors not only the cleanest possible emissions, but provides sustainable cutting-edge technology and an all-inclusive package covering service, maintenance and performance needs.

We are confident that it will fit well within the Nottingham electric sweeper fleet and form a mainstay of the city sweeping operations for years to come.»