UK methane trucks ‘answer to pollution’

    • Europe’s advanced CNG trucks for shop chain
    • Scanias get 800km range on methane gas
    • R330 000-a-year fuel saving possible

 

waitrose-trucks-pos-2
NOW ‘GAS IT UP PLEASE’ has real meaning. The UK is perhaps one of the world’s leaders by having natural-gas fuel stations on its freeways. This is one of the new Waitrose methane-fuelled trucks. Image: Newspress

SOLIHULL, England – One of Britain’s largest supermarket chains has opted for new delivery trucks that burn methane (compressed natural gas) instead of diesel to save 40% on their fuel bill and 70% on their exhaust emissions.

CNG Fuels, the gas supplier, told Carman’s Corner in a media release that the secret was a new design of high-pressure fuel tanks that at last allay the fear of vehicles running out of fuel – a malaise common also among battery-car owners.

FIRST WITH SPECIAL TANKS

­Two bigger (66cm diameter) and 500kg lighter carbon-fibre tanks replace the eight steel tanks previously required but can still store gas at 250 bar. Diesel in the UK is up to 40% more expensive than gas.

Ten new Scania CNG trucks entered operation for Waitrose in January 2017 and will be used to make deliveries to the company’s stores in northern and central England. They are the first to have the carbon-fibre tanks, which are already common in the US.

NOW 'GAS IT UP PLEASE' has real meaning. This is one of the two carbon-fibre methane tanks on the new Waitrose trucks. Image: Newspress
HIGH-TECH TANKS: This is one of the two carbon-fibre methane tanks on the new Waitrose trucks. Image: Newspress

The carbon-fibre tanks have been certified for the European market and are said to be faster to refill and easier to maintain.

Waitrose’s admits the CNG trucks costs 50% more than the equivalent diesel but adds that that cost will be amortised in two to three years through fuel-cost savings ahead of five more years of service.

Each truck will save more than 100 tonnes of CO2 a year over diesel.

‘IT’S A GAME-CHANGER’

Waitrose spokesperson Justin Laney told The Corner: “We will be able to make deliveries to our stores without a refuel away from base. Biomethane will deliver significant environmental and operational benefits, is much cleaner and quieter than diesel, and we can run five gas trucks for the same emissions as one diesel.”

Philip Fjeld, CEO of CNG Fuels, added: “Renewable biomethane is far cheaper and cleaner than diesel and, with a range of up to 800km, is a game-changer for road transport.”

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