City of London begins electric RCV trial

A pioneering trial to test the use of a fully-electric refuse vehicle on UK streets begins today (29 May) in the City of London as part of an initiative to drive down air pollution in the Square Mile.

The 26-tonne truck, nicknamed ‘Electra’, is powered by lithium-ion batteries, rather than diesel. It is designed for urban environments with short routes and can complete a full 10-hour shift, according to the supplier of the vehicle, NRG Fleet Services.

The electric refuse truck will be in operation as part of a two-month trial led by City of London Corporation

The trial will last for two months in the Smithfield area of the Square Mile. The vehicle will also be trialled in two other UK cities later this year. City Corporation refuse vehicles collect over 1,500 tonnes of household waste and more than 850 tonnes of recyclable materials per year.

The vehicle will be based at the Corporation’s Walbrook Wharf operational centre, travelling between 20 and 30 miles per day on collection rounds, before returning to the depot where it will be charged overnight, through a three-phase charging station.

Jeremy Simons, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s environment committee, said: “This vehicle is the first vehicle in the UK that is a fully electric, low entry refuse collection vehicle. It’s fully electric, both for compression of the waste and for powering the vehicle, and crucially – no diesel emissions.

“Our ambition is to have a full fleet of clean refuse vehicles. We are taking responsibility for the cleanliness of all our vehicles, encouraging the use of low and zero emission models with our partners.

“It complements the work we are doing to help City businesses cut back on vehicle deliveries and use more hybrid models.”

Zero-emission

Russell Markstein, commercial director of NRG Fleet Services said: “We are excited about the Electra, having worked with the City Corporation its development over the last 12 months.

“This truck can deliver zero emissions rubbish collection in the Square Mile and long term, it could be a big step forward.”

A range of low emission vehicles specifically tailored for the waste sector are currently being brought to the market, with London waste firm Grundon also this week announcing the purchase of a hydrogen-diesel dual-fual RCV (see airqualitynews.com story).

Terberg RosRoca, the company behind the iconic Dennis Eagle RCV brand, has also this month announced the development of a fully-electric model (see airqualitynews.com story), whilst Volvo Trucks is also bringing an electric RCV to market (see airqualitynews.com story).

Related Links
City of London Corporation
NRG Fleet Services