Cenex—the UK’s first Center of Excellence for low carbon technologies—announced its involvement in the UK’s largest trial of biomethane-fueled trucks. Led by Air Liquide and funded in part by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) in partnership with Innovate UK via the recently launched Low Emission Freight and Logistics Project (earlier post), the “Dedicated to Gas” trial will see large fleet operators—including Kuehne + Nagel; Wincanton; ASDA; Brit European, Howard Tenens and Great Bear—test the effectiveness of 81 dedicated gas-powered heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).
The trucks in trial 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, generting 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%, and those run on biomethane can expect to see a 70% 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, the project lead 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.
Dedicated to Gas is part of the Low Emission Freight and Logistics Trial, funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) in partnership with Innovate UK. In January 2017, OLEV announced that 20 trial projects were to receive funding of £20 million to demonstrate new technologies and to encourage the widespread introduction of low and zero emission vehicles to UK commercial fleets.
This study follows on the Low Carbon Truck Demonstration Trial, which wrapped up in December 2016, and was led by a Cenex-Atkins study team. That £23.4-million (US$30.5 million) program funded 12 discrete projects with 35 participating companies (including fleets, emission testing companies, station providers, universities and product developers).
By July 2016, 371 vehicles were deployed and 15 refueling stations were commissioned or upgraded. The majority of the trucks (96.5%) operated on dual fuel diesel/gas, 3% operated on dual fuel diesel/UCO and the remainder (1.5%) were dedicated gas vehicles. 82% of the trucks had retro-fit systems and the remaining trucks either had Volvo factory fitted dual fuel systems or were Scania dedicated gas trucks. 95% (353) of the trucks were Euro V, with the remaining 5% (18) being Euro VI.