Electric refuse collection vehicles to power UK homes through V2G

Veolia is taking V2G into real-life application. The country's largest waste management firm will reutilise its London fleet of electric refuse trucks to double as a power source for National Grid ahead of electrifying its entire fleet.

Image: Veolia

As of now, Veolia will use 45 electric garbage trucks it purchased with Westminster Council in July 2023. The partners invested £20m in the new vehicles built by Dennis Eagle. At the time, the company built a dedicated depot.

Veolia now plans to use the trucks to power households across the borough by applying V2G technology.

The company considers the collection vehicles “ideally suited” to vehicle-to-grid services as their batteries are six times larger than those in an average car, and the fleet is usually parked at peak energy consumption times for the National Grid.

This reasoning also proved true during the first phase of the trial when two specially designed bi-directional vehicles delivered 110 KW of energy to be charged and discharged – enough to supply power to 110 households for over two hours during peak evening hours.

Turbo Power Systems (TPS) delivered the V2G-ready charging stations with software by Fuuse and support from technology provider Advantics.

Magnetic Systems Technology (Magtec) remodelled the vehicles. While not specifically stated, the development is likely based on Magtec’s MEV75 truck technology, designed and approved for waste collection, among other things.

Veolia adds that it will also maximise local decarbonising energy from its waste-to-energy plants to power its electric vehicles, creating “a perfect circular loop”. This will include the Landmann Way vehicle depot in North London, powered by electricity from the SELCHP plant.

The plant is one of ten Energy Recovery Facilities. Veolia operates in the UK, which takes around 2.3 million tonnes of non-recyclable waste and transforms this into electricity for over 400,000 homes.

Adding to this, Veolia plans to electrify all of its 1,800 refuse collection vehicles in the country by 2040 and expects the transformation alongside V2G technology will enable it to provide around 200 MW of flexible power capacity daily, an equivalent of the evening peak energy demand of over 150,000 homes.

“We need to innovate in local decarbonising energy and transform our traditional approaches to take advantage of untapped sources,” said Estelle Brachlianoff, CEO of Veolia. She added that this required a new mindset. “The success of the V2G demonstration illustrates this perfectly. By enabling electric vehicles to become active players in the power grid, we are harnessing their potential to balance energy supply and demand, reduce carbon emissions and promote renewable energy.”



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