Cenex – the UK’s first Centre of Excellence for low carbon technologies – has confirmed its involvement in the UK’s largest trial of biomethane-fuelled heavy goods vehicles (HGVs). The trial is led by Air Liquide – a world leader in gases, technologies and services for industry and health – and funded in part by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles in partnership with Innovate UK via the recently launched Low Emission Freight and Logistics Project.
the ‘Dedicated to Gas’ trial will see large fleet operators including Kuehne + Nagel, Wincanton, ASDA, Brit European, Howard Tenens and Great Bear, trial the effectiveness of 81 dedicated gas-powered heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).
The five lorries being trialled range from 12 to 44 tonnes, and are all new to the UK market. The trial will road test the HGVs across 10 different vehicle configurations, creating a wealth of valuable data on vehicle performance, fuel efficiency, reliability and cost. Trial vehicles running on compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) are expected to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 8 per cent, and those run on biomethane can expect to see a 70 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions, compared to a similarly sized diesel HGV.
The trial will also test the effectiveness of a new cryogenic trailer refrigeration technology. The liquid nitrogen cooling system promises to reduce the high energy demands of refrigeration units, further reducing HGVs CO2 and air quality emissions.
The project aims to demonstrate lower-emissions technology innovation into the UK’s logistics industry and HGV fleets, which account for 17% of all UK road transport emissions. Working in partnership with Air Liquide as the project manager, Cenex will manage all data analysis and project dissemination, update a dedicated gas vehicle hub website, and organize informational workshops for participating fleet operators and interested members of the industry. Participating fleets will be supported by technical experts who will collate comprehensive data via telematics systems provided by Microlise and PEMS testing by Emissions Analytics, providing a complete analysis of the potential benefits of dedicated gas technology compared to diesel.
“As a world leader in sustainable, reliable, and safe gas power, Air Liquide is hopeful that this trial can bring much needed new fuel sources to the UK’s HGV fleets,” said Daniel Lambert, Commercial Director, at Air Liquide Advanced Business & Technologies UK. “OEMs are working hard to bring promising zero emissions technologies to the new lorries they design, but without real life road testing by big fleet customers, these technologies will not be able to impact CO2 emissions in a big way. We look forward to leading this innovative trial, and sharing the results with other HGV fleet operators across Europe and the globe.”
As part of its contribution to the energy transition challenge, Air Liquide advanced Business & Technologies (aB&T) drives innovation in clean transportation and offers natural energy sources to replace fossil fuels. The companys says the combination of biomethane & station supply creates a complete end-to-end solution for its customers, increasing competitiveness and sustainability.
Air Liquide aB&T already owns & operates more than 50 bio-LNG/CNG refuelling stations in Europe. Their network is growing rapidly, with the UK one of the key target markets.