One of Europe’s largest transport and logistics companies is to buy 500 IVECO natural gas-powered heavy trucks, confirming its confidence in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as an alternative fuel to diesel. It is IVECO’s largest deal to date and is with the pan-European transport and logistics specialist, Jost Group.
Designed to be the most sustainable long-distance heavy truck ever manufactured, the Stralis NP truck powered by LNG offers excellent power-to-weight ratio, power density and quietness of operation. The first 150 vehicles will enter operation during 2018, with the full fleet to be in service by 2020.
They will replace 4 to 5 years old diesel-powered vehicles in the Belgian firm’s fleet of 1,400 trucks and 3,000 trailers, which has grown steadily following a series of acquisitions. The company already operates 132 Stralis vehicles, including two running on compressed natural gas (CNG).
Commenting on the agreement, Roland Jost, Owner of Jost Group, says: “This marks a key turning point for our business as we begin a strategic move away from our dependence on diesel and towards green logistics, as requested by our customers, which are demanding a more sustainable transport. Our excellent experience operating Stralis Euro 5 EEV diesel vehicles has seen us establish a solid relationship with IVECO, supported by a very strong service network across Belgium.
“This played in a key role in our decision to take the next step on the path to sustainability, choosing the IVECO Stralis NP as the best solution. We’re proud to be amongst the early adopters of this new technology: our goal for the next three years is to have 35% of our fleet running on LNG. Our Group is also supporting this with an investment in our own LNG refueling infrastructure, with plans to open up to three filling stations within our major operating centres in Belgium.”
Pierre Lahutte, IVECO Brand President, explains: “Gas offers the widest range of opportunities to replace diesel in the commercial vehicle market – it’s no longer a fuel of tomorrow, it’s a fuel of today. This has been firmly demonstrated with one of Europe’s biggest fleets selecting the Stralis NP, running on LNG, to lead their fleet replacement programme.”
Demand for LNG is growing rapidly across Europe, with the German Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) having identified LNG as the best solution for long-distance road transport in the short term and for the next 10 to 15 years. When running on fossil derived natural gas, the Stralis NP’s CO2 emissions are up to 10% lower than its diesel equivalent, depending on mission and gas composition – rising to up to 95% lower with the use of biomethane. With IVECO’s natural gas technology, the level of particulates are negligible and the NOx 50% lower compared to diesel over long haul missions. It is also much quieter, reducing engine noise levels by around 50% – aiding deliveries in urban areas.