Volvo Trucks in North America has commenced delivery of 35 compressed natural gas (CNG)-powered Volvo VNL tractors to Supervalu, INC., one of the largest grocery wholesalers and retailers in the U.S. The Class 8 CNG-powered Volvo daycabs will operate out of the company’s Mechanicsville, Va. distribution center.
“Grocery distribution provides an excellent opportunity for environmentally conscious companies like Supervalu to utilize the clean-burning domestically abundant fuel,” said Gӧran Nyberg, president of Volvo Trucks North American Sales & Marketing.
CNG-powered Volvo VNL tractors were on display at Supervalu’s Mechanicsville distribution center during a Dec. 6 open house and ribbon cutting ceremony to unveil the tractors and fast-fill CNG station built and operated by Trillium CNG. The new station can fuel trucks at a rate of 8-to-10 gallons per minute.
The conversion to natural gas is expected to reduce the fleet’s annual oil consumption by more than 1 million gallons and result in 1,300 fewer tons of greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to the environmental benefits, the new CNG fleet and fast-fill station is expected to reduce Supervalu’s operating costs given the lower cost of CNG.
The distribution center operates 105 tractors and the company has set a goal of converting approximately 65% percent of its total fleet to natural gas by 2015. Supervalu operates 20 distribution centers across the U.S. and has more than 400 trucks in its national company-owned fleet.
“Expanding the use of compressed natural gas trucks in our fleet is good for both the environment and our bottom line, and will help us continue Supervalu’s commitment to operating in a sustainable manner,” said Mike Lech, vice president of logistics for Supervalu’s Eastern Region.
Volvo Trucks currently offers natural gas-powered versions of its VNL and VNM daycabs, which are built on-line at Volvo’s New River Valley assembly plant in Dublin, Va., where all Volvo Trucks sold in North America are built. The Volvo VNL model features a 12-liter Cummins-Westport ISX12 G engine and the VNM daycab is powered by a factory-installed 8.9 liter Cummins ISL G engine.
(Source: Volvo Trucks and Supervalu)