TfL LoCITY Vans Working Group meets Broadway SW1

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Rich in operator discussion at the heart of low emission solutions for light vehicles, cargo bikes and small vans

Lomas opened with a pineapple example of supply chain delivered to the door in the exploding e-retail final mile client chain.

Rob Scott Greater London Hire, GLH, ‘We all need to be more joined up with a common view of clean air.

Sam Clarke Gnewt, ‘It's crazy not to have parking next to charge points.

Kevin Valentine, Addison Lee, ‘You need to scale up the rapid charges really fast.'

June sunshine, football fever as TfL LoCITY light vehicle group packed the Broadway TfL building in SW1, no seats left in the house, operators talking real delivery of clean air included, CitySprint, Addison Lee, Ocado and UPS as frank exchanges detailed the understanding of real world steps, for April 2019 ULEZ and what was going to be beyond.



Chair of the light vehicle, van group for LoCITY TfL is Carl Lomas,

While the group is not electric–centric, the strength of alternative fuel discussion lies in the zero-emission vehicles. Key to the group is infrastructure and charging solutions, depot charging is about finding grid power while an even bigger issue is charging vehicles that go home to individual driver locations. Technology is strong in the group, but management is also recognized, route optimization and consolidation a major part in clean air with lower miles for more deliveries.

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LoCity light vehicle chair, Carl Lomas used a pineapple example of exploding home delivery before keynote speaker Ali Kagalwalla CitySprint spoke Cargo bike electric clean air delivery solutions for Central London.

Lomas has made member updates at the heart of the van group LoCity meetings, networking the individual attendees who are a mix between operators and technology providers.

June talk was about cost of batteries, range, swapping or charging. A whole table of gas, focus on a variety of gas, gas acronyms got detailed and explained.

Operator-focused, GLH, Addison Lee, Gnewt, Ocado, ZE Cargo, Babcock. DLR over fifty vans in the Docklands and many new guests who were operators looking at electric solutions. Nissan, BD Auto, Volvo for gas, Renault for electric, all there to talk kit.

Licencing, N1 and N2 vans and 4.25 ton weight for licence on alternative fuel vehicles. OLEV and the energy-saving trust, EV Infrastructure taskforce all made for a vigorous interaction of LoCITY operator talk for light vehicles and bikes. Take a look at the actual deliveries below:-

Donata MacCrossan explained EV Infrastructure taskforce.

The new taskforce, what infrastructure is needed in the next seven years, 110 50kw charges in so far, target of 300 by end of 2020 but what is actually needed out there? We have three workshops in next three months from barriers to land finance. We want LoCity involved in the taskforce. We want you on the web to identify where you want the rapid charge points.

Sam Clarke Gnewt asked for many more charge points but most importantly we need to be able to park next to these charges,

It's crazy not to have parking next to charge points.


Kevin Valentine, Addison Lee,

You need to scale up the rapid charges really fast. We need many more than 300, Warren Street station has a rapid charger, yesterday one cab was on it and two cabs were waiting, they were starting to create a traffic jam.


Change the battery question came up, this still remains cost-prohibitive. But don’t we do this on a fork truck? Donata pointed out the present views are based on a short term 2025 model. Brian asked, what about sports stadiums as charge points, they have power for flood.

Winston ZE Cargo

Why have we not looked more at wireless charging for the likes of taxi ranks?


Very busy and interactive networking-focused operators, technology providers and govt from GLA to TfL and DfT for first hand exchange of needs and dos that can be achieved.

Opening after the break unexpectedly was Julian Allen from Westminster University to talk management that saves fuel and delivers clean air.

Disruption and market change is at the heart of transport and environment as express home delivery explodes, reducing carbon and delivering clean air is also about vehicle kilometres, road space and time allocation, kerb space and interventions to aid air quality. We have just done a live portering trial in London to answer a survey reporting vehicles are actually kerb side parked, looked at drivers meeting porters to utilise the vehicle and let the porters compete the deliveries, this has a big effect on miles driven.

Ali Kagalwalla, CitySprint spoke cargo bike efficiency from an operator perspective,

dealing with the unexpected, we are very much same day and have to judge traffic of delivery on the day. The market is moving towards us, traffic in London is building, congestion is challenging, the effectiveness of small vans has been changing. London, the solution is cargo bikes.

June 17 we trialed 5 cargo bikes, May 18 we have 40 delivering almost four thousand jobs a month. Manual bikes were a challenge to move any level of weight.  Today we are focused on the bullet bikes, up to 100kg of load. These bikes are not cheap, they cost in the region of three thousand pounds a bike, parking is a challenge. If we get to a goal of one hundred cargo bikes we need help with storage and parking.

Cargo cyclists rarely come from the conventional cycle or van teams, this is a new millennial workforce but they need to be aware of London knowledge to make money in the self-employed platform of courier and express.


Cargo bikes are a mind-set change for the client, cargo bikes are not small vans. We need to incentivise workforce to take up the challenge and operate the cargo bikes.


Graham Thomas, Ocado, IOC fellow explained preparing for ULEZ at Ocado.

We have 860 vans operating inside the M25. We are using technology for fuzzy boarders to cross deliveries between depots. ULEZ April 19 means we need a major tweak, we are rolling out each site to be fully compliant, AdBlue on site, completing the training, dealing with the unexpected where add-blue ends up in the diesel tank. We are getting there, we just received the very first brand new Mercedes AdBlue Sprinter.

We are evaluating expanded ULEZ zones and looking at the clean air zone variations across the UK from Nottingham to Oxford.  We are watching the space as the Renault Master becomes available. CNG, plug-in hybrid are all part of our future, we do not see a single technology; it's not one thing that fits all. Big challenge is cost and expense of the vehicles and licence access to drive the heavier light vans.


Kevin Valentine, another IOC fellow, spoke passionately about Addison Lee and alternative fuel vehicles.

Cost of alternative fuel vehicles remains prohibitive. We tried two wheel electric but really struggled with range, Addison Lee own over five thousand vehicles and they are serviced in-house. Seven million journeys, over 900 000 courier deliveries.  425 of our vehicles are vans, 550 000 deliveries last year by van.  90% of our work is inside the M25. Average daily miles is 65 miles but there is a great variation for individual drivers.

We allocate work on an automatic allocator using algorithms to keep drivers efficiency at its best, we are FORS bronze and trying to achieve cleaner air. ULEZ challenge is vehicles going to driver homes, charging time and locations balanced against driver time is difficult to achieve. 25,000 black cabs in London and only 300 chargers does not work. Hybrid, hydrogen and electric options are all good but how do we get them to work when drivers take their vehicles home and how can we deal with the affordability of the new technologies?


Paul Wilkes detailed FORS and next steps around clean air solutions for fleets, talked moves to better fit of the standard for van. The two year FORS updates for the standard to be progressive, first ten years and five thousand members, a quality standard, working to showcase to the general public what FORS is about.

You should be less at risk from a FORS marked vehicle.  We have taken input from LoCITY to help adapt to clean air solutions. FORS are looking to tweak the standard for terrorist and danger risk in  the driving environment, unit O7. There is also great focus on van fit inside the standard.

Paul went on to show the draft changes by unit numbers, an overview of the linkages between the units.

We have asked members to nominate a fuel champion within the business. G6 unit, sustainable operations, you will need to look at further efficiency for future and flexibility that will reduce emissions.


Tanja Dalle-Muenchmeyer  updated the group on the Smart Electric Urban Logistics (SEUL) project with UPS and FREVUE freight electric vehicles in Europe.

In the project UPS deployed trucks in London but struggled to find grid power to charge the fleet of vehicles, the grid structure upgrade was expensive and took time. We have used the SEUL project to add twenty vehicles for UPS in Camden, smart charging solutions from UK Powernetwork with a timed connection.

We need to exploit spare capacity during the day for power connections but how do we match operator time need to capacity? Looking at base demand at the depot and then add the charging need of the vehicles, this often peaks as vans come back to depot at same time all the sortation belts are working.

A smart grid system at the depot balances need across the capacity timescale to charge vehicles through the evening, this is a solution to electrification without physically re-inforceing the grid. Buffer batteries is another opportunity and such batteries could be second life from the vehicles.


Talking boroughs, Peter McDonald closed with words on Croydon & Sutton electric freight scheme update.

We have conducted a Nissan van trial and a test on cargo bikes, our goal is to get Croydon to look smart with infrastructure. Go Ultra Low City project to look at the neighbourhoods and boroughs.  30 charging points going in but more are coming on our source London project. We want 100 in Croydon by 2020. We have 25 rapid chargers pencilled in on the A23.  We have two chargers at IKEA already.


Peter spoke passionately about providing chargers if operators could find space to make public.

Talking vehicles in the borough of Croydon and Sutton, very excited about the Arrival trial with Royal Mail and welcome the direct vision standard design but at the moment I can't get these vehicles. Barriers for operators in the borough have been grid power in their depots and finance solutions for non ltd company operators. Charging at workplace and agreeing landlords for power upgrades. ‘Range and anexiety’ real quotes. Facilities managers are getting excited, it is going to get there!


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Ali Kagalwalla City Sprint Cargo bikes


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Graham Thomas, Ocado – Infrastructure challenges to final mile


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Kevin Valentine, Addison Lee ‘ we need more charge points’


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Paul Wilkes FORS


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Peter McDonald London Borough Croydon


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Tanja Dalle-Muenchmeyer spoke UPS project for Camden Smart charging with buffer batteries on second life use.
Last modified on Tuesday, 26 June 2018 22:13