Mayor praises business ingenuity
LISMORE City mayor Jenny Dowell and the council's business facilitator Mark Batten have paid tribute to the ingenuity of Lismore-based Wrightway Products, which recently won Best Innovation at the Australasian Waste and Recycling Exhibition for a zero-emissions electric waste vehicle.
The award, presented last month at the Sydney Exhibition and Conference Centre, also marked the launch of Wrightway's EMC Emissions Free Electric Waste and Facility Service Vehicles.
The compact new vehicles can be set up for a wide range of uses including wheelie bin garbage trucks, fire trucks, laundry service vehicles and more.
"Wrightway is proof that innovation is alive and well in Lismore," Mr Batten said.
"This award recognises excellence in a series of ingenious sustainable products.
"Not only are the products themselves clever in design but it shows forward economic thinking.
"Wrightway are applying a strategic business approach now to find a niche in a future low-carbon economy. They are really ahead of the game."
Wrightway is now discussing contracts for four specific custom vehicle solutions, some of which have international interest.
General Manager Brian Tarlinton says there is enormous potential for these smaller industrial-sized vehicles to be used in a diversity of locations including universities, large sporting venues, mine camps, resorts, hospitals, high density residential developments and large industrial facilities.
"These vehicles can be used indoors or outdoors and are really suited to anywhere that's got access restrictions and narrow roads," Mr Tarlinton explained.
"In fact, trials of waste pick-up vehicles will soon get underway with the City of Sydney Council.
"One of the most exciting groups for us to work with is councils because they have a lot of access issues in city CBDs with very narrow streets. In Europe for instance there are already some hybrid vehicles in use but they are not fully electric.
"In early 2013 we will be introducing industrial lithium batteries into our designs. This means the battery can be recharged in less than five minutes rather than the eight to 10 hours a wet cell battery currently takes to recharge.
"That will absolutely make these attractive to big industry players."