Picture of the all-electric RCV outside the Guildhall in London

First all-electric RCV starts City of London trial

Published:  01 June, 2018

The UK’s first fully-electric refuse collection vehicle (RCV) has started a two-month trial in the City of London.

The 26-tonne truck, named 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 trial will be conducted 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 recycling a year.

Jeremy Simons, chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Environment Committee, said: ‘This vehicle is the 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.”

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.’

The trial is part of a wider fightback against air pollution in the Square Mile. In January the City of London Corporation launched a cargo bike delivery scheme to help City firms tackle toxic air by shifting deliveries from diesel vans to cargo bicycles.

It is pioneering a London-wide crackdown on drivers who leave their engines idling and its City Air app, which is used by 27,000 Londoners, gives users low pollution travel routes across the capital with advice and alerts when air pollution is high.

In 2016, the City Corporation agreed a deal with Addison Lee – London’s biggest private hire taxi firm – to automatically switch hybrid taxis to ‘electric mode’ in key areas of the Square Mile.

And it has banned the purchase of diesel vehicles from its own fleet of 300 vehicles, where there is a clean market alternative.

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LAPV (Local Authority Plant and Vehicles) is the only UK information source purely dedicated to local authority vehicles and affiliated plant equipment. Appearing four times a year, it offers well-researched technical articles on the latest equipment/technology as well as in-depth interviews with key industry professionals. More...

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