Halesowen-based commercial vehicle body builder, Bevan Group, has launched a new range of 100 per cent recyclable body panels.
The Eco-Bodies, are aimed at helping dramatically reduce the impact of commercial vehicle fleets on the environment.
For vehicles between 3.5 and 32 tonnes, they have increased payload potential and fuel efficiency. The environmental bonus is through the energy saved in production.
The material component is polypropylene, a thermo-plastic that can be melted and reused, with glass fibres that function as a high quality additive to strengthen it. The panels are painted with water-based rather than solvent-based paints.
The Eco-Body production system uses electro-fusion welding to fuse the panels from inside, eliminating the need for mechanical fixings or bonding.
The first company to order the new greener bodies is SRCL, a healthcare waste management company. The vehicles have been purchased as part of a rolling contract to replace SRCL's fleet of 100.
The deal is for 13 3.5-tonne Luton bodies on LDV Maxus chassis' purpose built for clinical waste collection.
The innovative vehicles feature a customised load restraint and hydraulic lifting system to enable safe transportation of healthcare waste bins.
The lightweight Eco Body boasts an increased payload of almost a third, while the low weight reduces fuel consumption so for a service life of 180,000 km, fuel savings would be 1,177 litres, with a consequent 7.5 per cent decrease in emissions.
The company has had an order for 72 Eco-Bodies from Marks & Spencer and logistics giant Keuhne & Nagel.
"An ever increasing demand to reduce weight, carbon footprints and costs, combined with a dwindling supply of skilled labour is causing increasing problems for UK bodybuilders," said the firm. "There is also increased pressure on the industry to find solutions to reduce its environmental impact."