LABOUR LEADER Sir Keir Starmer has praised the ambition and ingenuity of UK businesses that is steering the country towards becoming a world leader in net zero technology.
He was speaking on a visit yesterday (Tuesday, December 12) to the Silverstone factory of Lunaz, the world’s only dedicated industrial vehicle upcycling and electrification business.
And such has been the growth at the clean-tech company, founded in 2018, that Lunaz is preparing to double its workforce, announcing plans to create 175 new jobs at Silverstone by 2025 as it continues its progress towards upcycling 1,100 industrial vehicles a year with its proprietary zero emission electric powertrains developed in house.
The Leader of the Opposition took a tour of Lunaz’s factory, met members of the Lunaz team and inspected commercial vehicles at different stages of the restoration and upcycling process.
Sir Keir used the visit to state the importance of clean-technology companies such as Lunaz and the role they play in accelerating the critical global shift towards net zero. The commercial vehicle upcycling and electrification sector, in which Lunaz is an international pioneer, is predicted to grow tenfold over the next five years, driven by the global transition to net zero and clean-air mobility.
“Fast-growth clean technology companies like Lunaz show the incredible talent, innovation and ingenuity that exists here in Britain,” Sir Keir said. “We will back to the hilt the ambition and innovation of British business.
“The UK has enormous potential to take a global leadership position in the critical path to net zero industry. Companies like Lunaz show how it can be done.”
Upcycling and electrifying an existing industrial vehicle saves more than 80% of the embedded carbon versus replacing it with a new one, Lunaz says. A Lunaz-upcycled refuse truck is also better equipped to augment safety, comfort and driver wellbeing and represents a 25% capital saving over its as-new equivalent for local authorities and business operators.
The company has become one of the UK’s fastest-growing clean-tech companies, said founder and chief executive David Lorenz. “I can show that show no signs of slowing,” he added.
“Today, we can confirm our robust roadmap to double the number of skilled clean-tech jobs by the middle of 2025, affirming our commitment to the UK and Silverstone as a global centre of excellence in clean tech industry.
“We welcome all policy that supports and stimulates growth in this vital and vibrant sector; we’re encouraged to see political leaders engaging with and recognising the enormous power of the circular economy practices employed by Lunaz to accelerate our critical path to net zero.”
The visit was supported by Northamptonshire, Milton Keynes and the Coventry & Warwickshire Chambers of Commerce. Louise Wall (pictured left), chief executive of the Northamptonshire and Milton Keynes Chambers and a director of Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber, told guests that, while the Chambers remain politically neutral, taking opportunities to talk direct to leading political figures is “critical” in ensuring the voice and views of Chamber members and business generally are heard.
Lunaz itself has experienced rapid growth in both its passenger car and industrial vehicle upcycling operations. When it was founded in 2018, the Silverstone factory occupied 7,000 sq ft and employed five people. Today it extends to more than 250,000 sq ft. The company is on a roadmap to up-cycle 1,100 vehicles per year and will double its workforce to enter full production through 2024 and beyond. A global network of facilities will follow with Silverstone placed as the permanent R&D and engineering hub for a rapidly expanding international company.
This success has been underpinned by strong commercial validation. Local Authorities including Buckinghamshire County Council alongside Biffa, the UK’s leading sustainable waste management company, have all committed to sustainably re-profiling significant proportions of their fleets by upcycling and electrifying existing vehicles with Lunaz.
A selection of the world’s leading clean-technology and institutional investors have affirmed the company’s long-term strategic importance to the global clean-tech economy by backing the company through a series of private fundraising rounds.