Tighe Noonan, Partner, 4D Global Energy Advisors and President, Dulevo, along with John Colley, Chairman, Intercare, spoke to Swaliha Shanavas about the latest development and the key benefits of this new eco-friendly machine. Street sweeper technology has been evolving over the years to meet market requirements worldwide. As the environment has taken centre stage over the past few years across sectors, various manufacturers have been producing machines that contribute to greater operational success at the same time focusing on environmental aspects.
Dulevo, a leading player in the industrial and urban cleaning sector, has just introduced its first 100% electric vehicle – Dulevo D.zero², with a sharp focus on environmental performance. “Dulevo is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of street sweeping vehicles. With a turnover in excess of 70 million euros, we have sold our products in 70 countries around the world. All our products today are produced at one of the world’s most advanced manufacturing plants in Parma, Italy. The workforce in Parma includes around 220 highly specialised employees,” says Tighe Noonan, Partner, 4D Global Energy Advisors and President, Dulevo.
“There is no Planet B as they say, so you start to care about the environment on a global scale – and that is one of the hallmarks of Dulevo today,” he states, also adding that the machines they produce basically cover all the needs of urban operations, and one of the key focal points of the company today is to understand urban markets. “We may or may not be happy about it, but by 2030, 80% of the world’s population will live in urban centres. That is the global trend and that is the problem, which in a small way we’re trying to solve.”
D.zero² – Technologically advanced all-electric road sweeper
The latest innovation – D.zero² is the first all-electric road sweeper from Dulevo. It is a compact sweeper with a 2 cubic meter hopper capacity. “What makes the new machine unique is that it is a zero emission suction sweeper,” Noonan underlines. It represents an important recognition for the company as it has always invested in research and development to produce advanced machines with focus on environmental sustainability. One of the major highlights is that the D.zero² is a machine with 95% recyclable components. It is a solution for urban centres, densely populated areas, pedestrian, large malls, palaces, airports, etc. And if people are in close vicinity of the machines as they work “the air quality should be an absolute priority,” says the President.
Another key factor is that the electric solution not only reduces the noise emissions by 30%, it also offers 75-80% cost savings, especially as fuel costs are not involved, he notes, adding that there is 75% reduction in maintenance costs as well. “And that is very important for two reasons – first, due to the higher degree of availability of the machine, it gives the buyers more value for their money. Another benefit would be that after a five year period these machines will have a higher resale value than a machine with a motor,” Noonan comments. A critical point is that with 30% noise reduction, it makes an enormous difference to the well-being of not just the people in close vicinity, but also the person operating the machine, which actually translates into health savings, he highlights.
The major selling points for the new sweeper in this market are its small dimensions, manoeuvrability, reduced footprint, noise reduction and capacity, says John Colley, Chairman, Intercare, adding that this machine is suitable to meet the municipality and town requirements including hotels, malls, car parks, hospitals and many more facilities. “I think a very important aspect is noise reduction and it is ideal for hospitals, as well as hotels, malls and VIP areas for various reasons mentioned above.”
The D.zero² is powered by lithium-ion batteries, which guarantees a full working shift, says Noonan. “I think you’ll see batteries being essentially dedicated to short distance sustainable transportation, be it people or services. If it is fleets that return to the home base or if they don’t leave an urban centre environment, the battery will be the right solution, at least for the next 10-15 years. Later, we will most likely move towards some other advanced solutions and there is a lot of research in this area. Battery technology needs to be focused not just on renewable energy, but recyclable components as well,” he opines. Considering the limited natural resources, there is a need to be smarter about reusing, reducing and recycling, he adds.
Within a short period Dulevo will have the full range equivalent in electric as well, which means going up to 6 cubic meters, says John Colley. The challenge of the batteries for the bigger machines exists, but it’s already being worked on so there will be improvements on that soon, he adds. As more and more people opt for electric sweepers, there will be greater investment in battery technology in the long run. “These vehicles are using lithium-ion batteries, but with very high storage capability. So the D.zero² will practically run for over 8 hours per shift and that’s what people want – a full shift on the sweeping machine,” Colley adds. The battery lasts around 3,000 recharge cycles, so depending on whether or not you are using it in one, two or three cycles a day, you’ve got about 10 years battery life, says Noonan. “And we saw that also as being part of environmental impact attentiveness.”
The new sweeper may be more expensive than the diesel machine at acquisition, “but comparing the costs, within three years it is far more beneficial economically to acquire the electric alternative,” says Dulevo President. At Intercare, Colley is seeing the same thing. There is no sound pollution, no emissions, no carbon footprint, so it meets all the terms everyone wants to hear about, he says. “Few people want to actually opt for such equipment due to price constraints. With this technology, we meet all the buzz words that are important to people in the industry. At the same time, we offer quite a competitive price.”
Dulevo, Intercare partnership
On their partnership with Intercare in the UAE, Noonan says, “I think we are very fortunate to have an extremely reliable partner where the relationship is not only a friendly and good commercial one, but where there’s a constant dialogue so we get better at doing what we do.” Even though they manufacture and sell sweepers, fundamentally they are part of a service economy and provide support on product knowledge and training along with Intercare, which adds value, he stresses. “Without Intercare we would not be able to deliver that quality and spirit of service that characterises the Dulevo world.” Colley comments: “We have a trading history with Dulevo which goes back 25 years. We’re happy with the equipment and their support. We have penetrated the market from day one with Dulevo, and the UAE market is their pride in the Middle East where they have the largest market share.”
All-electric range on the anvil
Within the next four years, Dulevo will also be offering electric alternatives across the entire range of road sweepers. “They’re not always the most suitable solution, and it really depends on the task at hand and in what particular context they’re working,” Noonan states, adding that the company has in the last year penetrated the US market for the first time. “We hit the ground running and created a market and a lot of interest in the American market not only for the diesel range, but also for the electric vehicles.” He says many cities have expressed tremendous interest in their range of street sweepers including the electric D.zero². “So we will see that as a powerful driver for growth.”
Dulevo D.zero² – Highlights
• The D.zero² is 100% electric
• Zero CO2 emissions
• Zero dust pollution
• Minimum noise emissions
• Compact size and Optimal manoeuvrability – ideal to operate efficiently in small spaces
• Zero limits - D.zero² guarantees a complete work shift without any pauses to recharge
• Significant reduction in maintenance costs and times
• Zero risks for the operator - Low-voltage technology nullifies the risks associated with electric equipment
• Above features enable D.zero² to operate superbly in city centres, shopping centres, hotels, hospitals, parks, VIP areas and other high traffic areas such as ports, airports, indoor and outdoor car parks, etc.