Major brands are now using CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) which derives from food waste in their long-distance transport operations. John Lewis is one of those now realising the benefits of CNG. The renewable, “green” fuel is up to 40% cheaper than diesel and emits 70% less carbon dioxide.
The fuel works in vehicles with gas engines, which trump diesel and petrol engines by polluting the atmosphere far less. CNG benefits end-users because, while more costly than traditionally fuelled vehicles, the savings made in running costs will recoup the difference.
Justin Laney, General Manager Central Transport, John Lewis Partnership, said: “We are committed to reducing our carbon emissions and playing our part in tackling climate change. Renewable biomethane gives us the opportunity to make our fleet cleaner and quieter and, with significant cost savings, there is a compelling business case to switch from diesel”.
Parent company to supermarket retailer Waitrose, John Lewis aims to remove as much diesel fuel from its operation as possible, replacing it with biomethane supplied from CNG Fuels’ Leyland refuelling station. “The success of our gas-fueled operation depends upon a reliable supply of gas and the Leyland installation now provides us with the local support we need,” said Simon Gray, Vehicle Engineering Manager at John Lewis.
CNG Fuels is leading the way, bringing CNG benefits to more and more customers. To serve its growing client portfolio, it is currently developing a nationwide network of refuelling stations on major trunking routes fed by the high-pressure gas grid, compressing gas into fuel at point of delivery. Low processing, transportation and electricity costs make CNG a low-cost, clean solution. The company is also developing ‘daughter’ stations in customer depots within 100 miles of its ‘mother’ stations and will deliver gas by trailer at similar cost.
CNG benefits overcome range anxiety
Recently, Waitrose introduced a number of dedicated gas-fueled Scania tractor units, set to operate at a range of 350 miles, to its distribution fleet operation to complement more than 40 dual fuel trucks utilising a mixture of gas and diesel. This year it also added ten new Scania-manufactured CNG trucks with a range of 500 miles. With the tractor units the trucks will deliver to the north, north Wales and northern Midlands and refuel at CNG Fuels’ Leyland site.
CNG Fuels has sourced enough biomethane to cover its entire CNG fuel supply. It is made from food production waste, approved under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation RTFO), and generates Renewable Transport Fuel Certificates (RTFC). The fuel qualifies for these because it is sourced from anaerobic digestion plants which are not supported by the Renewable Heat Incentive or other subsidy schemes.
Customers will be issued with a certificate stating that they have purchased sustainable, renewable fuel and setting out its carbon content. Including fuel duty, biomethane CNG typically sells at 65p/kg (the equivalent of 49p/litre for diesel), before VAT. Prices are lower for bulk customers.
Philip Fjeld, CEO of CNG Fuels, said, “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.”
David Burke, Specialist Sales Executive – Gas for Scania (Great Britain) Limited, said, “Together with Waitrose and CNG Fuels we are developing a new UK market sector for dedicated gas vehicles which we believe will supersede the heavier dual-fuel models seen up until now. In addition to being cleaner and quieter than dual-fuel vehicles, our dedicated gas trucks offer considerable operational advantages.”
Indeed, CNG gas engines meet the latest Euro-6 air quality standards and are roughly 50% quieter than diesel engines. The fuel is popular with drivers because it usually takes less than five minutes to refuel and the closed system means there is no risk of spillage.