Electra launches the UK’s first compact 12.5-tonne electric zero-emission waste fleet platform

Electra Commercial Vehicles, the zero-emissions OEM based in Lancashire, has launched its all-new, 12.5-tonne eCargo, electric waste vehicle platform.  

These electric vehicles are the first in the industry in their weight class in the UK. They have been designed with an incredibly short wheelbase (3330 mm), making this a fantastic prospect for operators facing decarbonisation challenges. This configuration is especially well-suited for food waste collections. 

The 12.5-tonne eCargo has been designed with the operator in mind, and Electra revolutionised the layout and configuration to combat downtime and maintenance for operators. Electra’s vehicles already have a reduced maintenance requirement, combined with a system that enables significant parts to be repaired or replaced in under 15 minutes. 

Electra’s approach means it can build a platform suited to any operation and application due to the scalable modular configuration. Electra is not tied to just one chassis or body manufacturer, so the customer can create a truck to bespoke requirements. 

​​The 12.5-tonne eCargo features a class-leading payload with a body and allowance of 7900 kg.​ ​​​​With 140 kWh of battery capacity and thermally managed batteries, this truck can operate in -30- and +50- degree climates and has a range of up to 250 km. It also has a   150 KW DC fast charge capability, meaning this eHGV can be double-shifted or exceed its range by over 100 miles in under an hour.  

Electra’s vehicles come with an eight-year battery warranty and have V2L capability meaning the trucks can charge other vehicles or supply 3-phase power for events.  

Electra had initially built a trial 12.5-tonne eCargo that has been on demonstration for over a year throughout the country with a kerbside recycling body fitted. This proved a great success with the operators due to the platform’s capabilities and effortless driveability. ​​ 

Ben Smith, MD, of Electra Commercial Vehicles, commented: ‘The eCargo is the perfect solution to meet the requirements of the ​G​overnment’s new food waste collections regulations nationwide, ​producing​ zero-emissions ​and​ with a lead-time of under a year.​​ 

​​​‘​​We offer strategic solutions for every waste application. We are the first to build electric waste collection vehicles in the 12.5-tonne weight range and size.  

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‘We recognised that the configuration of different body types significantly impacts the truck’s size, design, and battery size and layout while also requiring an EPTO – all packed into a very short wheelbase. We are delighted that we can now offer our clients zero-emission trucks suited to small and busy roads in city centres and narrow precincts, ideally suited for the stringent demands of operations in ultra-low-emissions zones.​’​​​​ 


The Electra eCargo is offered to the UK through an exclusive agreement with Guest Motors Limited. One of the UK’s largest commercial vehicle solution providers, Guest offers the full range of Electra commercial EVs through its network of Guest Truck & Van and Sherwood Truck & Van dealerships and service centres. 

​​​​​Electra Dealer

Rob Spittle, Managing Director at Guest, said: ‘It’s fantastic to see Electra pushing the boundaries with zero-emission vehicles that support day-to-day operations in our cities, meaning that there is an electric option for an ever-increasing range of applications. As a dealer for Electra, we are proud to be part of this innovative project supporting environmental changes.’ 

Basildon Council recently acquired the first fleet of seven 12.5-tonne Electra eCargo food waste vehicles fitted with a Hillend Engineering Micro XHD body, which went into service in April 2023. The fleet has been received an innovative contract hire agreement with full service and maintenance from NRG Riverside.   

Paul Brown, Sales and After Sales Director, Hillend Engineering, commented: ‘We embraced the chance to work with Electra and NRG Riverside to provide Basildon with its first 12.5-tonne electric food waste vehicles. We are proud to have been supplying food waste vehicles for the past 20 years, and through working in partnership with forward-thinking companies, we will supply them for another 20 years and further along.’ 

Russell Markstein, Group Commercial Director​ at​​ ​NRG Riverside, commented: ‘NRG Riverside has been supplying vehicles on contract hire to Basildon Borough Council since 2011, and we are very proud of how the arrangement has developed from Euro V diesel trucks to the Council being one of the first authorities to have electric bin lifts, culminating in the first fleet of EV food waste vehicles to be operated by a local authority.​’​ 

Electra builds fully electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles on multiple chassis platforms. The company, founded in 2017, has already produced the first fleets of successfully operating zero-emission HGVs in the UK, improving local air quality truck by truck.