CNG Fuels, the supplier of renewable biomethane fuel, and Waitrose, today announced that the supermarket group has introduced Europe’s most advanced fleet of CNG (compressed natural gas)-powered trucks with a range of up to 500 miles. They will use game-changing technology developed jointly with Scania and Agility Fuel Solutions, the leading CNG fuel systems and cylinders company in North America. This will help overcome concerns about the distance that CNG-powered lorries are able to cover before refuelling. It also makes it easier for fleet operators to switch to renewable biomethane CNG, the most cost-effective and lowest carbon alternative to diesel for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).
Ten new Scania-manufactured CNG trucks entered operation for Waitrose in January and will be used to make deliveries to the company’s stores in the Midlands and the North. They are the first in Europe to use twin 26-inch diameter carbon fibre fuel tanks which store gas at 250 bar of pressure to increase range from around 300 miles to as much as 500. It will allow them to always run entirely on biomethane, which is 35% to 40% cheaper than diesel and emits 70% less CO2.
The carbon fibre tanks, which are already in use in the US, were adapted and certified for the European market by Agility Fuel Solutions, thereby offering significant advantages over the standard European set-up of eight steel gas tanks. The vehicles are half a tonne lighter, hold more gas and can cover a greater distance depending on the load being carried. They are quicker to refuel and easier to maintain.