World-first project trials recharging vehicles with energy derived from waste

Posted: 7 September 2018 | | No comments yet

Veolia is to convert two refuse collection vehicles to electric power, demonstrating dedication to the deployment of zero emission vehicles.


Global resource management company, Veolia, has announced their project to trial electric refuse collection vehicles (RCVs) that are charged by power derived from the waste they have collected.

The scheme in Sheffield will see two 26-tonne RCVs converted from diesel to electric power, accelerating the transition to zero emission heavy goods vehicles. In the future, these vehicles are set to be charged using the electricity generated from the non-recyclable household waste that fuels the city’s Energy Recovery Facility – a world first. 

Converting the RCVs, which need replacing, is an effective way of extending the life of an existing vehicle by changing the diesel engine for electric power. The project is backed by a grant from the Innovation Funding Service (Innovate UK) which will enable two repowered RCVs to be trialled over the next two years. The lorries will be powerful enough to negotiate 25 per cent gradients on hills even when fully loaded and are expected to be converted and operational by the end of 2018. The project will also convert an additional two RCVs that will be used in trials in London.

Veolia has also introduced zero emission electric street sweeping vehicles, another first for the UK. The five new electric sweepers will save 78 tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the environment each year, which is the equivalent to removing 33 passenger cars from the road.

Electric powered eco-vans have been trialled at hospitals in Liverpool and Southport to make hospital day-to-day work more environmentally friendly. These are recharged using the low carbon electricity generated by the hospital combined heat and power (CHP) plants managed by Veolia.  

Gary Clark, Veolia’s UK Fleet Director, said: “This project highlights Veolia’s strong commitment to clean air initiatives as we look to improve the environment in our cities. By working closely with our customers to deliver fleet solutions that lower emissions, we help them ensure they deliver real value for money and limit costs for local tax payers. By recharging the vehicles from the Energy Recovery Facility this approach also shows how local authorities and the public sector can drive sustainability and use green energy to address their environmental challenges.”

Veolia collects Sheffield’s non-recyclable household waste and sends this to the Energy Recovery Facility, where it’s burnt to produce enough electricity for over 22,600 homes.  

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