City Corporation to become first UK authority to run fully electric refuse truck fleet


The City of London Corporation will become the first UK governing body to run a full fleet of Electric Refuse Collection Vehicles (ERCVs) following recent successful trials of the new technology.

The first of the fleet of five new environmentally friendly trucks have arrived at Guildhall – the City Corporation’s HQ.

The vehicles will form the UK’s first zero emission recycling and waste collection fleet and will collect residents’ waste and recycling in the Square Mile.

They will be operated by Veolia, who deliver the City Corporation’s tech-driven recycling and waste collections, street cleansing and ancillary services operations.

The new 18-tonne and 26-tonne trucks will be powered by lithium-ion batteries, rather than diesel, and will help with the continued reduction of air pollution in the City.

Designed for urban environments with short routes, the vehicles can complete a full shift on one charge and will start their first rounds this month.

This operational first will be achieved using new innovative technologies for both the charging infrastructure and the vehicles, which will collect an estimated 20,000 tonnes of residents’ waste and recycling in the Square Mile over the next six years.

The pollution-busting trucks are part of the City Corporation’s plan to ensure at least 90% of the Square Mile meets World Health Organisation guidelines for nitrogen dioxide by 2025.

NOW READ: City Corporation protects funding for front-line services as 2021/22 budget agreed

Chairman of the Environment Committee, Keith Bottomley, said: “These new vehicles will help to further drive down air pollution in the City and improve the environment. Our fleet vehicles emitted about 400 tonnes of CO2e in 2018/19, so this change of fleet is of great significance.

“We hope this move will encourage local authorities across the country to follow suit in the urgent need to deal with toxic air.

“This pioneering fleet complements the work we’re doing to help businesses consolidate vehicle deliveries and use more hybrid models.

“Air pollution is the largest environmental risk to public health with up to 36,000 people dying prematurely every year in the UK. 

“We will continue to take steps to ensure that we are reducing emissions from our entire vehicle fleet, for the benefit of all.”

Pascal Hauret, Managing Director, Municipal for Veolia UK, added: “At Veolia we work closely with our customers to deliver greener fleet solutions that also offer value for money.

“This new electric solution opens new possibilities for cleaner air in cities, with the potential of recharging the vehicles using electricity generated from the waste they carry via Energy Recovery Facilities.

“It marks a major step forward towards carbon net zero targets, and highlights how local authorities can drive sustainability and address their environmental challenges.”

For the latest headlines from the City of London and beyond, follow City Matters on TwitterInstagram and LinkedIn.