Lunaz has expanded upcycling campus at Silverstone Technology Park, Northamptonshire.
The state-of-the-art upcycling and electrification plant, the first of its kind in the world adds 140,000 sq ft to the company’s existing facilities. This quadruples Lunaz’ industrial vehicles remanufacturing and electrification footprint. Additionally, it creates additional production space for Lunaz Applied Technologies (LAT), which upcycles diesel-powered industrial vehicles such as recycling trucks by restoring them to warrantied-as-new condition and converting them 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 towards net-zero emissions and improve the wellbeing of the drivers and crew who operate these critical vehicles.
LAT’s expanded upcycling campus is comfortably the largest company within the globally renowned Silverstone Technology Cluster by space and employees. It is the first facility of this kind in the world to focus purely on the upcycling, re-engineering and electrification of industrial vehicles at scale.
This expansion confirms Lunaz as a global leader in the rapidly expanding clean-tech sector. The new upcycling and electrification industry responds to the pressing need to find more ecologically viable and cost-effective solutions to transition the more than 2 billion vehicles that currently exist to clean-air powertrains. This is in the wake of aggressive legislation to ban the sale of new Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles globally within the next decade.
In expanding its upcycling campus, Lunaz will create more than 300 new jobs, and is actively recruiting across both manufacturing and electric vehicle specialisms to support its growth. Lunaz now ranks as one of the fast-growing companies in Britain.
As well as supporting Europe’s largest fleet operators and several authorities around Britain in achieving their net-zero efforts, LAT has invested in technology to reduce its own environmental footprint. The new upcycling campus will be highly thermally efficient and use heating powered by sustainably-generated electricity, all tools used by production experts will be battery-operated and vehicle ramps will be fitted with a kinetic energy recovery system to minimise power usage.
When repurposed into UEVs, these end-of-life vehicles are cleaner, less expensive and better-equipped than their all-new equivalents, helping fleet operators and authorities reach their net-zero goals. Independent research commissioned by LAT shows that upcycling a vehicle saves over 80% of its lifetime embedded carbon when compared to replacing a vehicle with an all-new equivalent.
The company’s growth has been built on the foundations of a highly strategic investor base. Together they have competencies and interests across the globe in relevant sectors including global fleet operations, engineering, logistics, media, technology and investment banking. This includes Frederic Wakeman, who following a successful tenure on Wall Street with The Bank of New York and GE Capital, became a Managing Partner of Advent International, one of the largest and most experienced global private equity firms. He is now a private investor and strategic advisor in the sustainability space as well as an active philanthropist, supporting projects where climate, nature and people intersect.
He adds to a group that also includes the Reuben, Barclay and Dallal families, David Beckham and Brendan Iribe.
A UNIQUE CULTURE OF UPCYCLING
The new facility will house the full range of LAT upcycling processes, showcasing a unique and extensive culture of upcycling and significant commitment to the reuse and improvement of existing vehicles.
LAT’s UEV upcycling process begins with an initial inspection and removal of the rear body, reclaiming the vehicle’s lubricants and other fluids, and stripping it to a bare chassis.
This is then shot-blasted using steel materials that can be reclaimed and reused more than 200 times, before being painted with hardwearing materials normally used on jet engine fan-blade housings for maximum longevity. All external and internal vehicle plastics are repaired and recoated – what is not reusable, down to the nylon in the seatbelt cord, is recycled.
The electrical circuits, air lines, bushings and brake systems are renewed with recycled components built by OEM suppliers. Advanced monitors are fitted in place of the wing mirrors to improve all-round visibility and safety; the analogue dashboard instruments are replaced with three screens, giving the UEV a five-star Driver Vision Standard (DVS) rating.
The original internal combustion engine is removed, decommissioned and sent for recycling. LAT then fits its proprietary UEV electric powertrain, which includes a modular battery designed for the specific route where the UEV will operate.