Veolia unveils first zero-emission street cleansing vehicles in London

Waste management company Veolia is set to deploy its first zero-emission electric street-sweeping vehicles in the London Borough of Lambeth – a first for the company’s operations in London and the UK.

Veolia, which has been trialling alternative fuel solutions for its vehicles since 2012, has purchased five new electric street cleansers instead of diesel alternatives, which the company states will save 78 tonnes of carbon dioxide from being released into the environment every year – the equivalent of removing three passenger cars from the road.

Veolia unveils first zero-emission street cleansing vehicles in London
Veolia's new zero-emission street cleaning vehicles are set to save 78 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year.

A trial of the vehicles in Lambeth showed that the electric street cleansers maintained the same work performance as diesel, while eliminating carbon emissions to zero and bringing additional benefits such as lower maintenance, lower noise output and a 70 per cent reduction in water use.

Veolia’s announcement adds to the momentum behind electrifying collection fleets, with vehicle and compactor manufacturer Geesinknorba unveiling the world’s first fully-electric, rear-loading refuse collection vehicle at the Future Fleet Forum in London in January.

Read more: Electric wheels: A future without petrol for waste collection fleets?

Commenting on the announcement, Pascal Hauret, Regional Director for Veolia London, said: “As one of London's largest fleet operators, low emission vehicle technologies are in our sights. Veolia’s fleet innovation team are actively involved in trials of new street cleansing and refuse collection vehicles, and our vehicles of choice for the next generation of street cleansing machinery will be those with zero emissions. It’s fantastic to see Lambeth Council’s dedication to improving air quality and we are delighted to have been able to bring electric mechanical broom sweepers to the borough.”

Cllr Claire Holland, Lambeth Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Clean Air, said: “The new electrical vehicles are another step to make our services as environmentally friendly as possible. They are a welcome addition to other initiatives we have to improve air quality in the borough, such as discouraging idling and supporting residents to increase greenery on their streets as part of our innovative Freshview scheme.”

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