Electric vehicle, EV, New trucks, News

Waste management business begins trials of its first electric vehicle

Nicknamed The Green Machine in a nod to the Canberra Raiders rugby league team, Veolia is trialling a Volvo Electric FE garbage truck as a first step towards the electrification of its fleet.

The new truck is part of a partnership between Veolia Australia and New Zealand and Volvo – and the first step in transitioning the 2700-strong fleet to electric vehicles.

It’s been on the road since mid-January, collecting rubbish, as Veolia tests its capabilities in tight spots and over distance.

Veolia’s chief operating officer ― waste, Tony Roderick, says the bright colour-scheme is intentional.

“The livery is very much a statement about our future being low emissions and electric, not just for Veolia and rubbish collection but for every part of the economy in Australia’s sustainable future,” said Roderick.

“This first EV purchase is going to be crucial to our Canberra operations. We’ll be looking to get the most data we can from the trial of the Green Machine, testing its performance to ensure we understand the benefits of EV vehicles in our fleet and to know what changes we need to make to bring them into our business.

“The Canberra trial is just one part of Veolia’s mission of ecological transformation to achieve a sustainable future. We are constantly on the lookout in every part of our business to reduce carbon emissions.”

Supporting its transition towards electric, Veolia has rolled out EV charging stations at three facilities in Queensland and there are plans for 20 more charging stations nationally by early 2024.

All of these sites will be linked to a monitoring system to determine where further energy efficiencies can be found.

Chargers installed on some of the sites are also available for public use.

Veolia says its Green Machine trial and various other changes are part of Veolia’s Decarbonisation project, which aims to use solar power to offset the company’s energy consumption right across its operations.

Together with the installation of EV chargers at multiple sites around the country, this will eventually support the complete transition from fossil fuel trucks to electric vehicles.

“So often, we get a sense that big changes are coming when they touch close to home and for Canberrans this will be more true than ever. There are fewer things closer to where you live than your early morning garbage collection,” Roderick said.

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