Waitrose launches Europe’s first fleet of renewable biomethane CNG-fuelled trucks with game-changing 500-mile range
(Solihull, 9th February 2017) CNG Fuels, the supplier of renewable biomethane fuel, and Waitrose, today announced that the supermarket group has introduced Europe’s most advanced fleet of CNG (compressed natural gas)-powered trucks with a range of up to 500 miles.
They will use game-changing technology developed jointly with Scania and Agility Fuel Solutions, the leading CNG fuel systems and cylinders company in North America. This will help overcome concerns about the distance that CNG-powered lorries are able to cover before refuelling. It also makes it easier for fleet operators to switch to renewable biomethane CNG, the most cost-effective and lowest carbon alternative to diesel for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).
Ten new Scania-manufactured 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 fibre 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.
The carbon fibre tanks, which are already in use in the US, were adapted and certified for the European market by Agility Fuel Solutions, thereby offering significant advantages over the standard European set-up of eight steel gas tanks. The vehicles are half a tonne 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.
Each of Waitrose’s new CNG trucks costs 50% more than one which runs on diesel, but will repay the extra costs in two to three years with fuel savings of £15,000 to £20,000 a year depending on mileage. Its vehicles are likely to operate for at least five more years, generating overall lifetime savings of £75,000 to £100,000 compared with a diesel equivalent. Each lorry will save more than 100 tonnes of CO2 a year (versus diesel).
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’s much cleaner and quieter than diesel, and we can run five gas trucks for the same emissions as one diesel lorry.”
Philip Fjeld, CEO of CNG Fuels, added: “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.”
Todd Sloan, Vice President Research and New Product Development, Agility Fuel Solutions, said: “We are seeing a shift to natural gas because it allows companies to control fuel costs, meet sustainability goals, and take care of drivers. CNG costs less than diesel and has lower tailpipe emissions. In addition, our high-capacity fuel tanks increase route efficiency and driver confidence. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
David Burke, Specialist Sales Executive – Gas for Scania (Great Britain) Limited, said: “Together with Waitrose and CNG Fuels we are developing a new UK market sector for dedicated gas vehicles which we believe will supersede the heavier dual-fuel models seen up until now. In addition to being cleaner and quieter than dual-fuel vehicles, our dedicated gas trucks offer the considerable operational advantages which come with having Scania as the single source of supply.”
Fleet operators can contact CNG Fuels for more information about extended range CNG trucks.
CNG Fuels media contacts:
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Notes to editors:
About CNG Fuels
Headquartered in Solihull, West Midlands, CNG Fuels was established in 2014, and is today the UK market leader for the supply of CNG (compressed natural gas) for commercial vehicles. Its gas is sourced entirely from renewable biomethane, which is cheaper and emits less carbon well-to-wheel than any other HGV fuel. The biomethane is made from food production waste, approved under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation RTFO), and generates Renewable Transport Fuel Certificates (RTFC).
CNG Fuels is also the country’s only dedicated provider of public access CNG (compressed natural gas) refuelling infrastructure. It operates the UK’s two highest capacity CNG stations, in Leyland (Lancashire), and Crewe (Cheshire), and is able to supply fleet operators within a hundred miles. It is developing a nationwide refuelling network. For more information on CNG Fuels, visit www.cngfuels.com.
Waitrose – winner of the Best Supermarket1 and Best Food Retailer2 awards- currently has 352 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 63 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations. It combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop – dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced, combined with high standards of customer service. Waitrose also exports its products to 58 countries worldwide and has eight shops which operate under licence in the MiddleEast. Waitrose’s omnichannel business includes the online grocery service Waitrose.com, as well as specialist online shops including waitrosecellar.com for wine.
¹ Which? Customer Survey
² Verdict Customer Satisfaction Awards
About Agility Fuel Solutions
Agility Fuel Solutions is a leading provider of highly-engineered and cost-effective natural gas fuel systems and Type 4 cylinders for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles. It has been manufacturing natural gas products for local, regional and long-haul applications for over 20 years, logging billions of miles on the road per year. Agility sets industry standards in safety and reliability with a broad product portfolio that includes a wide variety of commercial vehicles, including Class 8 trucks, refuse trucks, city buses, concrete mixers and delivery trucks.
Scania is a part of Volkswagen Truck & Bus GmbH and one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks and buses for heavy transport applications. Employing some 44,000 people, the company operates in approximately 100 countries. Research and development activities are concentrated in Sweden, while production takes place in Europe and South America, with facilities for global interchange of both components and complete vehicles. In 2015, net sales totalled SEK 95 billion and net income amounted to SEK 6.8 billion.
Scania is a major supplier to UK industry of trucks, buses, coaches and engines for industrial and marine applications. Additionally, the company provides a wide range of complementary and ancillary services in support of its products and customers through its 89-strong network of service centres. In 2015, Scania’s share of the UK heavy truck market was 19.5% and its combined bus and coach market share amounted to 7%.