Westminster Council to roll out £20m new electric waste fleet

Westminster Council, in partnership with Veolia, has invested £20 million in a 45-truck electric waste fleet that will be powered by energy from waste (EfW) and introduced to service over the coming weeks.

Westminster Electric Vehicle FleetThe council plans for the new electric waste fleet to gradually replace all existing vehicles. and hopes the move will ‘deliver a cleaner and quieter service, powered directly by energy generated from the waste they collect.’

Veolia – who will operate the fleet as the council’s environmental partner –predicts that the new electric vehicles could cut down as much as 89 per cent of the CO2 emissions that would otherwise be produced by a diesel-powered fleet.

The vehicles will charge their batteries in a purpose-built electric depot at Landmann Way through a private connection to The South East London Combined Heat and Power facility (SELCHP) - all of the power will come from EfW. The depot is capable of charging 54 vehicles simultaneously, and will be equipped with 'smart charging technologies' to draw power mainly at non-peak times.

Pascal Hauret, Managing Director at Veolia UK said: “Using the waste we collect to power the electric fleet is an exciting innovation because that creates a local loop of energy, using local resources to run local services.

“I’m incredibly proud of the solutions Veolia and Westminster are pioneering together to build the sustainable municipal services we need, now and in the future.”

Counsellor Paul Dimoldenberg, Cabinet Member for City Management and Air Quality, added: “By replacing diesel-powered refuse trucks with a £20m investment in UK-built electric vehicles, Westminster City Council is voting with its fleet.

"The trailblazing electrification will deliver an essential service that is quieter for residents, improves air quality in central London and reduces our fleet emissions by 50 per cent, or over 2,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

“This is a significant moment in the evolution of sustainable council services and we look forward to further expanding our zero-emission vehicle fleet in the future.”

Alongside the trucks, the council will be introducing 90 electric street cleaning vehicles ranging from e-bikes to e-sweepers. Westminster council currently completes 50 million refuse collections each year, and plans to eventually replace its entire 80 truck fleet with fully electric vehicles.

A growing trend towards electric waste fleets

The plans come as part of a growing trend towards greener refuse collection vehicles (RCV)s. In 2022 St Hellens council in Merseyside introduced the first hydrogen powered RCV in the UK to their fleet, and are looking to electrify their other vehicles.

In the same year, Lunaz applied technologies (LAT) –- who create upcycled electric vehicles (UEVs) from existing trucks and cars –- passed an upcycled RCV through a battery of tests that validated it for use on nearly every residential street in the world.

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