A council has been accused of hiding a fleet of 25 new multi-million-pound electric-powered bin wagons because it failed to build facilities to charge them.
York Council has invested around £8m into a procurement project to replace its diesel trucks, used for general litter collection, with more eco-friendly vehicles.
But independent councillor Mark Warters, 58, has labelled the project “farcical” and an “embarrassment” after it was revealed delays with charging infrastructure meant some couldn’t be used.
Photos taken by a whistleblower showed the brand-new trucks sitting idle in a tarmacked storage yard.
A council spokesperson admitted construction of the charging points was “behind schedule” but claimed it was better to purchase the vehicles early due to inflation.
Cllr Warters said: “There are 25 vehicles out of what’s arrived that haven’t been used yet and are just hidden away because they’re an embarrassment.
“Basically, they’ve got nowhere to charge them.
“They’re behind with installing the charging infrastructure…but because they’d already procured the electric vehicles, they’re obviously having to accept them.”
Cllr Warters questioned how the project would work in practice, saying council staff would need to keep vehicles at home overnight, where they can’t be charged.
He added: “The wider side of this is, even when they get the charging infrastructure in place, how you actually manage a fleet of vehicles when there are a lot of council workers that will start at ridiculous hours, 5am or 5.30am in the morning?”
“It’s always been accepted practice that those people take these vehicles home with them. So they’re already questioning how that system would work.”