Veolia’s V2G Innovation Enables Refuse Trucks to Power UK Homes


At its “Deep Dive Energy” event in London, Veolia unveiled a world-first vehicle-to-grid (V2G) innovation that will enable waste collection trucks to power United Kingdom homes by feeding back stored energy from their batteries to the grid.

The UK’s largest waste collection fleet operator, Veolia plans to electrify all of its 1,800 refuse collection vehicles (RCVs) in the nation by 2040. This transformation will enable the company to provide to the grid around 200 MW of flexible power capacity daily, an equivalent of the evening peak energy demand of over 150,000 homes, supporting the UK’s energy security.

With electricity demand in the UK expected to double by 2050 and the government planning to decarbonize the National Grid by 2035, batteries have a role to play as they can not only recharge from the electrical grid, but they can also feed back stored energy from their batteries to the grid, thanks to V2G. This can provide energy during peak demand periods, contribute to grid stability by regulating frequency and voltage and even store excess renewable energy for later use.

Veolia has taken the potential of this technology to a new level by applying it to collection vehicles. They are ideally suited to V2G 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.

The first phase of the trial performed by Veolia has been successfully completed, enabling 110 KW of energy to be charged and discharged from two specially designed bi-directional vehicles, enough to supply power to 110 households for over two hours during peak evening hours. Veolia now plans to expand the trial and test it out on the streets, using Westminster council collection vehicles to pilot the innovation.

In addition, Veolia will maximize the use of local decarbonizing energy from its waste-to-energy plants to power its vehicles, creating a circular loop. This will include the Landmann Way vehicle depot in North London, powered by low-carbon electricity from the SELCHP plant.

“We need to innovate in local decarbonizing energy and transform our traditional approaches to take advantage of untapped sources,” says Estelle Brachlianoff, CEO of Veolia. “This requires a change of mindset and a collective willingness to rethink the way we produce, distribute and consume energy. 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.”

For this project Veolia has partnered with EV charger manufacturer Turbo Power Systems (TPS), vehicle repower experts Magnetic Systems Technology (Magtec) and EV charge point management software provider Fuuse, with support from technology provider Advantics.

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