TfL LoCITY – TFL Alternative fuels transport group

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An Eight Point agenda - Let's get green transport in London

‘Lomas, ‘Clean air for London, clean air for our drivers’

EV truck to train, van cargo bike and drone for delivery

‘LoCity Operators say EV vehicle lifecycle is longer than existing diesel vehicle.’

‘Infastructure and charging remains the key concern for LoCity TFL group.’



TfL held the LoCITY meeting on Monday March 6th at Palestra House in London. All modes, truck, bus, van, car, cargo bike, even drone and train in the mix for every option of alternative fuel vehicles in London.

Carl Lomas chaired. DTF, DEFRA, City of London corporation, London boroughs and the transport livery of the Carmen amongst a full house room of operators from GLH to Santis Global, Addison Lee to Yodel and Royal Mail.

Lomas began with a buoyant run of key issues called out. Room applause for zero emission wins in waste trucks, cargo bikes and final mile cycle. ‘Its not just about clean air for London, its about clean air for drivers in London.’ Today DEFRA will set the national tone for us before a rich eight point agenda focuses on London. From cycle to heavy truck, from owner operator to national operator delivering in London, this group is about clean air final mile. Yodel, Santis Global, GLH, Addsion lee amongst the final mile parcel carriers, key issues signposted were infrastructure charging, for both fleet vans at depots and owner operator vans charged from drivers home where off street parking was not available.

Straw pole vote – operators asked, is life cycle of ev vehicle longer than diesel, strong answer YES

Operators view is vehicle lifecycle for ev is longer than diesel.

Full house for TFL LoCity March round table at Palestra.

Key notes from the Eight point Agenda

Clean Air Zones – a national view from Sam Harrison, DEFRA/DfT Joint Air Quality Unit

Sam Harrison opened with a national view on clean air zones.

Sheffield - Sheffield City Council together with Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council have launched their "Class C" CAZ as of 00:01 27 February 2023. Eligible businesses and residents may be able to apply for financial support to upgrade to cleaner vehicles.

Newcastle and Gateshead: Newcastle and Gateshead Councils launched their Clean Air Zone on 30 January 2023. Non-compliant taxis, buses, coaches and HGVs today will be charged, but non-compliant vans/LGVs will not be charged until July 2023.

Bristol - Bristol’s “Class D” CAZ launched in November 2022. Non-compliant vehicles driven in Bristol are now subject to charge.

Bradford - Bradford’s “Class C” CAZ has been live since September 2022. Non-compliant vehicles driven in Bradford are now subject to charge.

Birmingham - In 2021 Birmingham introduced its “Class D” CAZ.

Portsmouth - Portsmouth’s CAZ is a “Class B” Zone charging non-compliant buses, coaches, taxis, PHVs and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).

Bath and North East Somerset - Bath and North East Somerset launched the first CAZ in 2021. Charges apply to non-compliant buses, coaches, taxis, PHVs, HGVs and light goods vehicles (LGVs) as a “Class C” CAZ.



2. E-ford transit update from David Petts Ford

E Transit, David ran the detail on all the Ford options, Typical driving distance has been around 80 miles. The max record by us was 115 miles, typical times between 8 in the morning and three in the afternoon.

‘My advice is to go 4.25 and deal with cat B.’ The toys, we have connectivity for fridge to tool chargers. Pre-conditioning, its not just about a warm cab, we want the battery pre-conditioned, you ca do this through the phone app. Acceleration controls, a great box of tricks, as the vehicle gets lighter the power is adapted for range. We have various user guides from a short page intro to a full dealer grade user manual.

Transit custom comes next year more useable battery, slightly lower floor, various versions at the CV show this year for you to take a look at.

Operators asked the cost question, what price will the new transit be?


3. TfL’s Ford e-Transit van trial: Theo Chappel from TfL’s Innovation team – ‘Cynical, range ancxiety but liking the iconic van. We love it.’

I was cynical when we received this iconic van in an electric version but I have been converted. Key problem has been infrastructure charging. The silence of the vehicle is magic but we have had issues in the depot where people do not hear the van moving. We have had range anxiety but are getting over it. Weight capacity has limited what we can carry but weight does not seem to impact range dramatically.


1. Cargo bikes: TfL’s policy – Kerb space is critical – TFL cargo police is close.

TFL cargo bike policy is about to be published, Growth, infrastructure and capacity, cargo bike safety and behaviour change are all in the draft plan.

We believe cargo bikes will win road space. TFL have 9000 pieces of land that may be useable for cargo bike space. We encourage you to contact us for this space opportunity for cargo bikes. Parking and kerb side space is a key challenge, We are working with boroughs to understand space. Safety, we are looking at safe and best practice, currently cargo bike incidents are not reported separately form bicycle. Loading and strapping is also an issue to load.


4. Cargo bikes: TfL’s new strategy, and Paul Burt & Graham Neagus from Renault Trucks on their entry to the cargo bike market

Wide agenda presentation from EV truck to drone and then a new branded cargo bike comes to market ‘OptiModal’

We are not Renault – We are Renaut Trucks

‘There is no other OEM to provide a cargo bike.’

Paul Burt, Renault Trucks showcased a new electric cargo cycle coming to market. A first from a world brand, remember Renault car is a different company, this is from Renault Truck, part of the Volvo group.

Grahame Neagus spoke, ‘Ever Changing Urban Logistics’. Delivered a key note focus around all aspects of Urban logistics including the OptiModale cycle last mile and last metre challenge. A branded cargo bike.’ ‘There is no other OEM to provide a cargo bike. We are looking at the last meter, we have called this OptiModale. This is abut dealing with more vehicles, lower speeds and congestion. Three into one does go, Part1, EV van. Part2 the EV cargo bike – up to 75kg. Part 3, drones. Part 4 road robot pods. We have joined forces with Kleuster ECargo bike and launched in France for a dry freight, reefer 250Kg vehicle.’

‘Do remember, I am from Renault trucks, Renault car is different, be sure to talk to a Renault truck dealer. De-carbonside is one very big agenda. We are driven by EU law, as Renault trucks we offer the widest range of electric trucks today. We have sold a lot of electric trucks, Tarmac have just taken the latest electric mixer.. Wide look at decarbonisation. Grahame talked about the first drone superhighway between Coventry and Milton Keynes.


5. Rail for parcels, clean air Birmingham to Glasgow in 4 hours – Alice Bulpin GBRTT

Rail freight for parcels – Birmingham to Scotland - four hours?

Straw pole vote from the room, who remembers ‘Red Star returned’ 50% of room says YES.

Alice Bulpin explains four-hour rail freight parcel delivery between Birmingham & Glasgow by Varamis Rail. We are asking you for final mile zero emiiison.

Alice Bulpin was at TFL LoCITY round table to showcase the very latest express parcel options on Rail. ‘This is an option to test rail and it's available now. Rail is here, we have been doing a lot on express freight.

We have different modes available on a class 321 freight multiple unit, roller cages to individual parcels. Talking to operators the key challenge is multiple handling. Focusing on a new service between Glasgow and Birmingham. Journey times are around four and a half hours and the service is running five evenings a week. Its available now and ready for you to test rail.

Network Rail and Varamis Rail, the UK’s newest train operator, have worked together to launch an innovative, zero carbon freight service. The service, which launched this month runs between Scotland and the Midlands, Monday to Friday. Targeted at express parcels and third-party delivery companies, it will primarily deal with next day delivery of consumer goods. Industry partners, Eversholt Rail, have converted a number of fully electric 4-car trains formerly used in passenger service to enable them to carry freight while Network Rail provided the necessary operating licenses, contracts, and train paths for the service to operate.

The trains running partially loaded and funded under an Innovate UK grant on a trial period operate between Mossend Parcel Platform on the avanti West Coast line to Birmingham International.

This followed trial operations of the service, which commenced in October 2022, to test the robustness and practicality of the service, and enabled logistics companies to test the service..

Alice went further, ‘We don’t stop at the trains, we are also looking at the Network Rail Sites to connect with ground and building opportunities for logistics providers.’ ‘We are just back from Waterloo arches and tis is a special opportunity.’



6. Road user charging news including TfL plans for ULEZ expansion in 2023

London ULEZ extension and the new scrappage scheme.

Today 85% of vehicles comply seen in outer London, higher in central and inner.

Scrappage for vans is further supported by special offers.

Colin Brady, TFL, ‘ ULEZ in London and the latest scrappage scheme for vans.’ ULEZ is about clean air. Air pollution impacts on people, over 500,000 Londoners suffer from asthma. ULEZ began in the congestion zone and moved out in 2021, In Aug this year it goes further to the M25. Vehicles have been upgrading, we hope to see a nine per-cent drop in NO2. Vehicles that meet the standard have risen, when ULEZ began only forty percent of vehicles complied, today ninety per cent comply inside the zone.’ TFL showcased the new ULEZ boundaries on a run of powerpoint slides.’

Explaining scrappage grant updates. ‘Latest scrappage scheme has been announced. 110 million pounds, it is similar to previous scrappage scheme, the grant level for cars and motorcycle is set at a thousand pounds. The van grant various between five and seven thousand pounds. Nine and a half thousand pounds to scrap and move all the way to electric van. We have gathered a variety of special offers, find them on the TFL web, discounts for various cargo bikes, exclusive offers with Iveco Ford and others.’

Lucy looked at the future, ‘Touching on the future of road charging, should we change from multiple charge zones to something simpler, one thing that came through was more road safety. Importance of freight scored four out of five. Time of day for travel was a key impact to the next generation zones.’



7. Electric HGVs update - Nick Bithell & Paul Abbott Knights of Old group

Details of KNP Groups first trial of an electric HGV. Paul Abbott (Group Director ) gave a detailed account of a trial of the Renault E Tech D Wide 19T electric truck used on distribution routes delivering pallets on a multi drop delivery profile.

During the 4 week trial period the vehicle delivered 253 pallets and covered 1358 miles, Paul illustrated a comparison with existing diesel trucks focusing on the carbon emissions and also the costs per mile and pallet. Graphics and stem distance rage detailed. Motorway mileage combined with drop miles. Overhaul we were very pleased with the trial.

Alongside the statistical results of the trial, Paul gave feedback on the operational characteristics of using the electric HGV including the practicalities of charging , delivery efficiency, ease of use and the impact on driver behaviour. Finally, Paul gave an insight into how electric HGV’s might be integrated into the 500 + strong KNP fleet and described other low emission solutions that are being considered.


8. CENEX Fleet Advice tool update by Steve Carroll

Steve Caroll head of transport at Cenex, (aprox 220 alternative fuel vehicles available today)- multiple models) Steve explained, ‘The Fleet Advice Tool has been developed and is maintained by Cenex on behalf of the TfL projects. The website provides information on low emission technology options and an assessment of vehicle whole life cost, operational capability and emissions based on a user’s actual operating patterns. The Fleet Advice Tool offers valuable support to London’s commercial vehicle operators when looking to assess low emission options when making their next vehicle purchase. Cenex outline how the Tool, originally developed in 2018, is based on industry validated and trusted data and requested the support of the LoCITY group alternative vehicle fuels group to review and input into the costs and performance default factors within the tool for the different technologies. Fuel suppliers, vehicle providers and fleets that can offer validation / opinion on the assumptions within the tool should contact Steve Carroll at Cenex.



Next date is drafted in for June 20th


Gallery of speaker photos

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Colin Brady TFL


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Paul Abbott



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Ford e-transit David Petts


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Full house at TFL LoCity March 2023