British supermarket chain unveils first biomethane-fueled truck fleet
With CNG Fuels help, Waitrose has introduced Europe’s most advanced fleet of CNG-powered trucks with a range of up to 500 miles. They will use game-changing technology developed jointly with Scania and Agility Fuel Solutions. This will help overcome concerns about the distance that CNG-powered trucks are able to cover before refueling. It also makes it easier for fleet operators to switch to renewable biomethane, the most cost-effective and lowest carbon alternative to diesel for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).
Ten new Scania CNG trucks entered operation for Waitrose in January and will be used to make deliveries to the company’s stores in the Midlands and the North. They are the first in Europe to use twin 26-inch diameter carbon fiber fuel tanks which store gas at 250 bar of pressure to increase 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. Each truck will save more than 100 tons of CO2 a year (versus diesel).
The carbon fiber tanks, which are already in use in the United States, were adapted and certified for the European market by Agility, thereby offering significant advantages over the standard European set-up of eight steel gas tanks. The vehicles are half a ton lighter, hold more gas and can cover a greater distance depending on the load being carried. They are quicker to refuel and easier to maintain.
Philip Fjeld, CEO of CNG Fuels, commented: “High pressure carbon-fiber fuel tanks demolish the ‘range anxiety’ concerns that have made many haulers 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.”
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.”