Tesco.com is trialling 25 gas-powered Iveco EcoDailys, which if successful could shape the future fleet of the online shopping subsidiary.
The vehicles will run exclusively on Compressed Biomethane (CBM), which has the lowest carbon intensity of any commercially available fuel, and will save 400 tonnes of carbon across the 25 vehicles.
Gasrec produces the CBM by cleaning and upgrading waste gas streams from a landfill site in Surrey, meaning the fuel is not depleting fossil resources.
In comparison with diesel, it reduces particulate matter by 90%, nitrogen oxide by 60% and sulphur dioxide by 50%.
Even the noise from an engine running on CBM is reduced by around 30%.
“The scale of the CBM trial will allow us to comprehensively assess the performance of the natural gas vehicles,” Dino Papas, fleet transport manager at Tesco.com explains. “It represents one of the most important trials we have ever run, and if it proves successful, it could have a major impact on our future transport strategy.”
The fleet already operates 15 electric-powered Modecs with mixed success, according to Papas.
But if the gas-powered EcoDailys, which can also operate on compressed natural gas, prove their worth, Papas told Fleet News the number of gas-fuelled vans on the fleet would grow.
“We will have a Gasrec fuel depot on our Greenford site in west London, with all 25 vehicles running out of this one location,” said Papas.
The depot required no investment from Tesco.com, with the cost of installation and storage equipment included in the cost of the fuel.
Meanwhile, the company is also taking delivery of 770 Daily 35S11 AGiles with a six-speed automated transmission, offering a choice between completely automatic or manual sequential gear selection.“We opted for the AGile transmissions as Iveco’s trial data shows that it reduces wear and tear on the driveline in urban applications, where the mainstay of our fleet operates,” explained Papas. “It’s also proven to optimise fuel economy, which supports our environmental goals, and will allow our drivers to place maximum attention on the road ahead.”
Each of the vehicles will remain in operation for five years and will clock up an average of 25,000 miles per year.
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