Islington borough council in north London has announced plans to expand the use of low emission compressed natural gas (CNG) fuelled and electric vehicles across its fleet.
This will involve spending around £3 million in total this year on vehicles, including trialling three refuse and recycling trucks, five heavy vans, an accessible community transport bus and a street sweeper, all powered by CNG.
CNG fuel can be used in place of diesel or petrol and is made by compressing natural gas. The majority of the CNG for use in Islington’s vehicles will come from biomethane generated from food waste.
Alongside the increase roll-out of CNG vehicles a further 60 light vans and cars will also be replaced with full electric or hybrid models, as part of a planned renewal cycle.
Cllr Claudia Webbe, Islington’s executive member for environment and transport, said: “We are committed to reducing air pollution and carbon emissions in our borough, and having a zero-emissions fleet of our own is the ultimate target, once technology allows.
“Larger vehicles can’t yet be run on electricity but we are investing in compressed natural gas technology to power our larger vans and trucks, and will keep searching out the greenest possible ways to do things.
“Polluting diesel vehicles will soon be a thing of the past in our own fleet – our next step is to introduce new vans for the street cleaning service and new accessible community transport buses, both powered by compressed natural gas.
“The future can only be green if we all strive towards that goal – and I’m proud to be pushing towards a zero-emission fleet in Islington.
“This is part of our wider environmental agenda and a great way to kick off our month-long Spring Clean programme, which will see more major announcements and cleaning blitzes in town centres.â€?
Other London boroughs are also trialling low emission vehicles in their fleets, including the City of London Corporation, which is trialling a fully-electric refuse truck within the Square Mile (see airqualitynews.com story).