Supermarket Paves the Way to Replacing Diesel in Truck Haulage in its Operations

Supermarket Paves the Way to Replacing Diesel in Truck Haulage in its Operations

Waitrose and CNG Fuel Introduce Biomethane Fuelled Lorries to the Roads

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UK – The Handy Shipping Guide has covered before the efforts that supermarket chain Waitrose has made to reduce its carbon and emissions from its road transportation. Now the retailer has marked another first by taking on ten new biomethane-powered trucks that they, and their partners in the project, hope will prove the concept to other fleet operators and encourage greater adoption of a fuel source that is claimed to be the ‘most cost-effective and lowest carbon alternative to diesel for heavy goods vehicles’.

Working with CNG Fuels, the key supplier of the fuel in the UK, Waitrose has taken on ten new Scania trucks that will make deliveries to the company’s stores in the Midlands and the North of England. The vehicles are also the first in Europe to use twin 26-inch diameter carbon fibre fuel tanks which are considerable lighter than steel tanks and allow the gas to be kept at a greater pressure, increasing range from around 300 miles to as much as 500. It will allow them to always run entirely on biomethane, which is 35% to 40% cheaper than diesel and emits 70% less CO2. The new tanks are also quicker to refuel and easier to maintain. Philip Fjeld, CEO of CNG Fuels, commented:

“High pressure carbon-fibre fuel tanks demolish the ‘range anxiety’ concerns that have made many hauliers reluctant to move away from diesel to CNG. Renewable biomethane is far cheaper and cleaner than diesel, and, with a range of up to 500 miles, it is a game-changer for road transport operators.”

The new CNG trucks costs 50% more than one which runs on diesel, but Waitrose and CNG state that they will recoup the additional expense from purchase by saving up to £20,000 a year in fuel costs within three years. With a life cycle expected of five years the trucks should save £75,000 to £100,000 compared with a diesel equivalent. Each lorry will also save more than 100 tonnes of CO2 a year over a diesel equivalent. As the biomethane is produced from waste food additional benefits to the environment are accrued by its use. Justin Laney, General Manager Central Transport for the John Lewis Partnership, owners of Waitrose, said:

“With Europe’s most advanced CNG trucks, we will be able to make deliveries to our stores without having to refuel away from base. Using biomethane will deliver significant environmental and operational benefits to our business. It’s much cleaner and quieter than diesel, and we can run five gas trucks for the same emissions as one diesel lorry.”

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