TfL LoCITY – Clean air for London operator group meeting Nov 2020

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Strategic Analysis, TfL City Planning, London traffic and emissions trends during the pandemic Strategic Analysis, TfL City Planning, London traffic and emissions trends during the pandemic

Truck, van and cargo cycle for pandemic freight delivery.

Diversity of workforce win in the access to clean air vehicles.

Old school round table feel for virtual meeting rich in operators' knowledge for alternative fuel vehicles.



TfL top brass, Alex Williams, There is a lot going on

Forty operators mixed with TfL top brass to cover road transport modes from cargo cycle to van and heavy truck, gas to electric and even diversity thrown in with news of wins in new vehicle designs. Nick Bithell talked hydrogen cell 1000km truck by 2025.

Carl Lomas LoCITY chair introduced the group for an online round table that was asked to applaud, put thumbs up and interact with questions on the chat room that brought a feeling of old school, real round table. It was a hot house of all forms of transport and focused on all kinds of alternative fuel solution from gas to electric.

Lomas commented,

LoCITY is about clean air for London, It’s about clean air solutions for Londoners. Let’s not forget the drivers are breathing the same air. We are all breathing the same air. Latest challenges are shift from high street to home delivery. This impacts the entire chain - from truck to walking delivery. Numbers in final mile are exploding, Last Monday, after first weekend of lockdown two, saw final mile delivery numbers break all records on delivery to London addresses. Electric vans in final mile are separated by those that are charged at home and those charged in a depot. It’s a very different challenge.


First keynote was TfL top brass introduction by Alex Williams

‘Our lives have been tipped upside down, the focus of the three P’s, problem, process and pandemic.

Problem - air quality is a massive health crisis. Respiratory illness, thousands of premature deaths and links to other illnesses. Lots of correspondence on air quality due to health issues.

Process, ULEZ scheme Feb 2017 39% compliance now 83% compliance Feb 2020. Level of change on vans 9% 2017 fast forward 2020 70% compliance. TfL has the largest bus fleet of 9,000 euro 6 largest electric buses in Europe. 5,000 charging and 4000 rapid charging in London available. Outcome’s, reported three weeks ago, 2016 2million, 2020 now 119,000 living in unacceptable air, PM Particulate matter still a problem.

Pandemic - All of our worlds have been turned upside down. Looking at the city a lot less travel, movement, aviation and travel the highest reduction. Vehicle traffic creeping back up -90% outside city centre.

Alex continued; successful major cities can not be car-led. Recovery must come back into public transport. Congestion charges off and on. Low emission zone, 1st March 2020 ULEZ extension Oct 2021. Street space extra 800 schemes have created huge change. Economic driver of it means more space for people to trade, eat and drink so challenges for this but important to keep businesses going.

Looking ahead, cleaning up London air. De-carbonisation will have a big impact. End of combustion engine is a big gap to reality of vehicles. There’s a lot going on!


Stuart Godman, Absolutely Couriers London: Cargo bike solutions in the heart of London, a new WC1 eco-hub for cargo cycle

Our cargo bikes are two and a half times quicker than a diesel van.


2020 news nov tfl locity 02


For us to be successful to meet the commitment to air quality, we only have part of the answer, greater collaboration between government manufacturers and companies is needed. 250+ couriers 50 electric cargo bikes by 2021. Electric bikes fun facts - 25 miles per battery, 2.5 times quicker than a van around London, CSR policy important to the client, Sept 2020 meant 30% of customer delivery was by cargo bike.

The wider message - car-led recovery is everyday here in London, square mile has changed but the car hasn’t. 70% of what we do is starting with and ending with a consumer. The working pattern is not the same. Function in a different way. Adapt and have agility to make the world a better place. This is more than a commercial conversation we all have our part to play.

Playing our part, January 2021 we launch an eco hub, 4,000 sq feet electric cargo bikes only operating in this hub in the very heart of London WC1. Every vehicle going forward for Absolutely will be electric, for the fleet and the staff.


Heather Watkinson, Principal City Planner, TfL – Electrical vehicles, Zero-Emission Road Transport and the green recovery

Zero net vision is a huge Mayor of London campaign, expected by 2050 - An ambition to accelerate this quicker, support a green recovery.

London’s ZERT timeline - How are we going to get there. 2030 ambition new registered cars and vans zero emission is not within the TfL control, but government are close to announcing this.

Short term Priorities - LEZ March 2021 with ULEZ Oct 2021. Scrappage scheme are financial support for vulnerable groups 8m support, small business, charities, and low-income workers. Suspended due to unprecedented demands. ULEZ car and motorcycle scrappage scheme for low income and disabled Londoners only. No additional funding currently.

EV charging infrastructure - 26% of all UK charging points are in London 226 rapids coming 300 by Dec 2020. Forward thinking to meet future demands, looking towards a rapid hub demand. Stratford Rapid hub open Feb 2020 but we need to understand the demand and needs, the usage. The network was in high demand, 3times the UK average before pandemic. Average charge one hour long.

What are TfL doing? Electrification of the bus fleet, with a firm commitment to deliver this but currently at 376 zero buses. Total zero bus fleet expected by 2037. Next steps - support a green recovery expected by 2050 but we want to accelerate that


Nick Bithell, Knights of Old haulage, chair of LoCITY heavy vehicle group, HGVs

Hydrogen cell 1000km truck by 2025.

Getting weight of goods into London, future of EV for heavy, CNG LNG today, let me introduce a real win for London. Nick spoke about the IAA show cancelled the heavy vehicle showcase but Merc launched hydrogen cell 1,000 klms and say it’s available by 2025. Liquid or compressed natural gases is the best way forward for heavy trucks to realise a reduction of emissions. Nick introduced Graham Thomas from Ocado to talk practical reality of gas truck.


Graham Thomas, Ocado, using gas from Hatfield to support the ULEZ zone

Our journey with gas - Gas is the only viable offer to diesel at the moment. It is the here and now, we will have sixty gas trucks on the road by end of the year.

Noise reduction and, crucially, proper horsepower. That journey led to driver acceptance. Engagement with the accountant is a challenge. Capital premium over £20k for each truck taken on a total cost ownership basis, not capital cost. Proving the benefit of the TCO came back at £11k benefit for the gas truck. With a gas refuelling depot. The doubters, the other stakeholders, drivers, transport managers giving lots of reasons as to why the gas trucks wouldn’t work. Dispelling the myths, informing the technology was sound and the gas truck arrived. It is the here and now, three offers of different trucks but they all suffer from a lack of infrastructure. Gas is the only viable offer to diesel at this time.


Graham Neagus, Renault: Electric vans, availability and infrastructure in the purchasing decision for clean air

Add diversity to the mix. The new design electric vehicles are bringing greater access, bringing opportunity to a more diverse driver workforce.

230 thousand EVs in the UK today, we believe twelve million by 2030. Electrification of your fleet can appear to be fraught with operational challenges especially if you are just about to embark on such a move, but Renault Trucks have over 10 years experience of such implementations with clients of all weight ranges from 3100kgs to 26,000kgs. Preparation is key with all stakeholders and my presentation will not only ease you into this new era with confidence but also illustrate why a move to electric vehicles is appealing to a much wider audience than parcel distribution. In addition to all of this I shall illustrate many other hidden benefits of moving into the world of electromobility including harnessing and growing into a much more diverse and inclusive business model.

The new vehicles are a great match to diversification of drivers.


Tom Adams, Strategic Analysis, TfL City Planning, London traffic and emissions trends during the pandemic

Year-on-year HGV activity in London is down 25% for October.

Tom talked numbers for LoCITY, data and graphs to bring the detail all the way to lockdown two. ANPR number plate data showcases the detail of what and how much was on the London streets - outer and inner central. HGV activity is down 25% October to October. Data clarified the 'lockdown two' empty streets. 30% more home deliveries than pre lockdown. 92% of Londoners working from home. Scenarios planning for the future are based on this data, post-pandemic planning is present focus.