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Coca-Cola trial highlights potential of biomethane

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Cenex, the UK’s Centre of Excellence for low carbon vehicle technologies – has announced the results of a year-long trial with Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), whereby a fleet vehicle was powered with biomethane to assess the potential to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fuel costs.

Following a successful trial, CCE has invested in a fleet of 14 gas powered Iveco Stralis vehicles and a gas station which is due to be fully operational at the Enfield depot from June 2012.

Driven by a desire to produce a step change reduction in fleet carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, CCE contracted Cenex to evaluate and compare the emissions, fuel consumption, economics, reliability and operability of a 26 tonne Iveco Stralis gas vehicle with that of a diesel Stralis vehicle.

The gas vehicle is estimated to have achieved a 50.3% saving in well-to-wheel GHG emissions, compared to the diesel Stralis vehicle.

However, this was achieved using a temporary filling station – a more efficient permanent station being installed at the CCE depot raises the GHG saving to 60.7%. Additionally, operating the gas vehicle on biomethane reduced the fuel costs by 12.8%.

Chris Walsh, head of technical support and consultancy at Cenex, said, “The success of this trial shows gas vehicles provide similar if not better, drive performance and reliability levels than incumbent diesel technologies, while significantly reducing CO2 emissions.

“By releasing the report findings we hope to eliminate the need for repeated technology comparisons within fleets, thereby reducing the time required to deploy gas commercial vehicles throughout the UK.

“The report therefore gives fleet managers and decision makers the confidence to deploy gas vehicles in their own fleet operations.”

The partners in the trial, which ran between June 2010 and May 2011, were Coca-Cola Enterprises, Cenex (technical advisor), Iveco and biomethane supplier Gasrec.

The full trial report and findings are available for download here

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