Waitrose has rolled out a new fleet of eco-friendly delivery trucks that run on biomethane gas.
The compressed natural gas (CNG) lorries, which are the most advanced fleet of their kind in Europe, are powered by renewable biomethane fuel and have a range of up to 500 miles.
The “game-changing technology” will save Waitrose 40% of the cost of running a diesel lorry and emit 70% less CO2.
Each of the 10 new trucks cost Waitrose 50% more than the diesel equivalent, but with fuel savings of up to £20,000 annually, the retailer expects the extra costs to be repaid within three years.
“With Europe’s most advanced CNG trucks, we will be able to make deliveries to our stores without having to refuel away from base,” said John Lewis Partnership general manager of central transport Justin Laney.
“Using biomethane will deliver significant environmental and operational benefits to our business. It’s much cleaner and quieter than diesel, and we can run five gas trucks for the same emissions as one diesel lorry.”
The new CNG-fuel technology was developed jointly by truck manufacturer Scania and US fuel systems company Agility Fuel Solutions.
The vehicles are half a tonne lighter and hold more gas than previous CNG trucks, They are the most cost-effective and lowest carbon option on the road, claimed West Midlands-based fuel supplier CNG Fuels.
“High pressure carbon-fibre fuel tanks demolish the ‘range anxiety’ concerns that have made many hauliers reluctant to move away from diesel to CNG. Renewable biomethane is far cheaper and cleaner than diesel, and, with a range of up to 500 miles, it is a game-changer for road transport operators,” said CNG Fuels CEO Philip Fjeld.
Agility Fuel Solutions VP of research and NPD Todd Sloan added: “We are seeing a shift to natural gas because it allows companies to control fuel costs, meet sustainability goals, and take care of drivers. CNG costs less than diesel and has lower tailpipe emissions. In addition, our high-capacity fuel tanks increase route efficiency and driver confidence. It’s a win-win for everyone.”