Veolia, the waste management company responsible for waste collection, recycling, and street cleansing operations in the City of London, has taken delivery of its first zero emission collection vehicles.

The new 18-tonne and 26-tonne (GVW) vehicles are part of the City of London Corporation’s plan to ensure at least 90% of the Square Mile meets World Health Organisation guidelines for nitrogen dioxide by 2025. Powered by 100% recyclable lithium-ion batteries and designed for urban environments with short routes, the vehicles are expected to complete a full shift on one charge.

Other technology innovations include the use of liquid cooled permanent magnet drive motors to ensure the electric refuse collection vehicles can withstand stop-start environments where high torque is required.

To ensure the electricity infrastructure remains resilient for local communities, and at the same time provides sufficient charging for the fleet, Veolia has developed a smart charging system. This takes data on shift patterns, available generation and vehicle power requirements to determines which vehicles are charged when in the depot. By using this system the vehicles are available when needed, local grid power availability is maintained, and future expansion of electrical demands can be met as further decarbonisation measures are introduced.

“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,” said Keith Bottomley, chair of the environment committee, City of London Corporation.

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