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Waitrose rolls out new green truck fleet

Supermarket giant Waitrose has today unveiled a new fleet of trucks, which it hopes will represent an effective alternative to polluting diesel trucks. The company has bought 10 new compressed natural gas (CNG) powered trucks, which are able to run for up to 500 miles on green gas produced through anaerobic digestion.

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Gas power offers a potential route for the UK freight industry to cut greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, as battery electric vehicles currently struggle to offer the range and power required by heavy lorries. Since last month the new green gas trucks have been making deliveries to Waitrose stores in the Midlands and North of England.

Although the trucks cost 50 per cent more to buy upfront than a diesel alternative, Waitrose expects the vehicles to deliver significant fuel cost savings over their working life, alongside substantial environmental benefits. Biomethane is up to 40 per cent cheaper than diesel to buy and emits 70 per cent less carbon dioxide, as well as dramatically cutting down on nitrogen dioxide emissions responsible for poor air quality. “With Europe’s most advanced CNG trucks, we will be able to make deliveries to our stores without having to refuel away from base,” said Justin Laney, general manager of central transport at the John Lewis Partnership, which owns Waitrose. “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.” The Scania trucks were developed in collaboration with Agility Fuel Solutions, and are the first gas-powered trucks in Europe to use twin 26-inch diameter carbon fibre tanks which boost the average range from 300 miles to up to 500 miles. “High pressure carbon-fibre fuel tanks demolish the ‘range anxiety’ concerns that have made many hauliers reluctant to move away from diesel to CNG,” explained Philip Fjeld, chief executive fof CNG Fuels, which will supply the gas for the trucks. “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 move follows news late last year that Waitrose is among a host of major retailers[1] preparing to embrace green gas-powered trucks in their freight operations.

Argos and John Lewis are also either already using, or planning to use, the vehicles to cut the environmental impact of their delivery operations.

Further reading

References

  1. ^ Christmas deliveries go green as major retailers embrace renewable lorry fuel (www.businessgreen.com)



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