City of London Corporation – the local authority covering central London’s Square Mile – is to trial a fully electric refuse vehicle from next month as part of an initiative to combat air pollution.
The 26-tonne truck, nicknamed Electra, runs on lithium-ion batteries, rather than diesel. It is designed for urban environments with short routes and can complete a full 10-hour shift, the City of London Corporation has said.
The trial will begin in February and will last for two months with further trials expected to be carried out 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 recycling a year.
Jeremy Simons, chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Environment Committee, said: “This vehicle is the first of its kind. 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 our fleet and encouraging the use of low and zero emission vehicles with our partners.
“It complements the work we are doing to help City businesses cut back on vehicle deliveries and use more hybrid models.”
Russell Markstein, commercial director of NRG Fleet Services, which has developed the vehicle, said: “We are excited about the Electra, having worked with the City Corporation its development for the past six months.
“This truck can deliver zero emissions rubbish collection in the Square Mile and long term, it could be a big step forward.”
Sheffield council has also recently signalled a shift towards electric vehicles for its refuse collection fleet, with the city council having sought funding to convert two of its retired RCVs to use an electric powertrain. The project follows the renegotiation of the city’s long term waste management contract with the waste management firm Veolia.
The council claims a vehicle could be operational for a further seven years under the scheme.