Cenex, the UK’s first Centre of Excellence for low carbon technologies, says global logistics provider Kuehne + Nagel Ltd will trial the effectiveness of low-emissions heavy-goods vehicles (HGVs) operating as parts of large fleets with demanding-duty cycles. The vehicles to be tested are powered by liquefied renewable natural gas (RNG).
Funded in part by Innovate UK’s Low-Emission Freight and Logistics Project, the Reduced-Emission Logistics (RED-E-LOG) trial will see one of the UK’s largest fleet operators trial the effectiveness of dedicated (spark-ignited) gas and dual-fuel direct injection methane-diesel trucks in completing demanding-duty cycles for consumer brands such as Whitbread, owner of Costa Coffee and Premier Inn, and Virgin.
Kuehne + Nagel will trial 29 dedicated gas and direct-injection, dual-fuel methane/diesel trucks. The trucks will refuel with liquid biomethane, from a depot-based liquefied biomethane (LBM) station. Liquefied biomethane is a sustainable and renewable fuel derived from waste. The trucks promise to reduce total cost of ownership and deliver emissions savings. Producing less CO2, NOX and particulate matter (PM), gas-powered trucks are particularly attractive to fleets operating in urban areas, as seven UK cities will introduce air-quality zones by 2020.
The project aims to prove the reliability, emission savings, cost savings, and practical use of low-emissions HGVs in the UK’s most demanding logistics operations. Currently, the logistics industry accounts for 17% of all UK road-transport emissions. Working in partnership, Kuehne + Nagel Ltd will manage the trial, Microlise Ltd. will manage fleet telematics to capture detailed vehicle data, and Emissions Analytics will provide independent emissions testing to quantify the emissions performances of the new vehicle technologies. Cenex will share trial findings with UK logistics operators, and use them to encourage investment in low carbon solutions for demanding-duty cycles.
Steve Carroll, Head of Transport at Cenex, said: “Cenex is excited to continue its long-standing support of using natural gas and biomethane in the transport sector. Proving the capabilities of these alternative fuels in heavy-duty cycles is a first for the UK, and we look forward to sharing the outcomes of this innovative trial.”
“The demand on our industry for on-time and cost-efficient deliveries has never been greater”, said Andrew Blake, Kuehne + Nagel, “so understanding how low-emissions technologies can support our sustainable growth while delivering to our customers is critical. We look forward to better understanding how biomethane-fuelled HGVs will help Kuehne + Nagel reach our goal to be a sustainable, reliable logistics leader.”
Brodie McMillan, Logistics Director at Whitbread, concluded, “At Whitbread we believe we have a responsibility to operate in a way that respects both people and planet, and cutting CO2 emissions from our supply chain is part of that. If these units deliver the benefits we’re expecting, Kuehne + Nagel will be looking to introduce the same technology into our delivery fleet, reducing the environmental impact of our vehicles and helping to improve air quality.”
The RED-E-LOG Project is part of the Low Emission Freight and Logistics Trial, funded by the Office for Low-Emission Vehicles (OLEV) in partnership with Innovate UK.
In January 2017, OLEV announced that 20 trial projects were to receive funding of £20m to demonstrate new technologies and encourage the widespread introduction of low- and zero-emission vehicles to UK commercial fleets. The Low-Emission Freight and Logistics Trial will help the UK meet its CO2 reduction targets – and represents another step towards the government’s target for all new cars and vans to be zero emission by 2040.