Waitrose has commissioned a new fleet of compressed natural gas (CNG)-powered trucks which will save more than 100 tonnes of CO2 a year per vehicle.
The 10 Scania-manufactured CNG trucks run entirely on biomethane produced from waste food, and is guaranteed by Renewable Transport Fuel Certificates (RTFCs). It is up to 40% cheaper than diesel and emits 70% less CO2.
The new vehicles are half a tonne lighter, hold more gas and are up to 50% quieter than diesel vehicles.
They are the first in Europe to use twin 26in diameter carbon fibre fuel tanks which store gas at 250 bar of pressure to increase their range from 300 miles to nearer 500. The tanks, which are already in use in the US, were adapted and certified by Agility Fuel Solutions.
Philip Fjeld, chief executive of CNG Fuels, said: “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.”
Each of Waitrose’s new trucks cost 50% more than a diesel one but repays the extra expense in two to three years, with fuel savings of £15,000 to £20,000 a year. Its vehicles are likely to operate for five more years, generating overall lifetime savings of £75,000 to £100,000.
The new fleet will be used to make deliveries to stores in the Midlands and the north of England.
CNG Fuels currently operates the UK’s largest capacity CNG stations at Crewe in Cheshire and Leyland, Lancashire, where the Waitrose fleet will refuel.
Justin Laney, general manager central transport for the John Lewis Partnership, 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 is much cleaner and quieter than diesel, and we can run five gas trucks for the same emissions as one diesel lorry.”
CNG Fuels plans to develop six more refuelling stations across the country within the next two years on major routes such as the M4/M5, the M1 corridor and near major cities to offer biomethane CNG to buses and refuse fleets.