We are delighted to be featured in the 'Transport Operator' magazine (March 20). We are positive that LNG is the way forward and proud to be part of an ongoing transition to bring our entire fleet over to natural gas.
Sittingbourne haulier Nicholls Transport has started to transition from diesel to gas as a fuel for heavy trucks, with investment in a fleet of 10 lveco Stralis NP 460 6x2 tractors from Haynes Trucks and the installation of refuelling facilities by Gasrec.
The Stralis NP has gas tanks mounted on both sides of the chassis, offering Nicholls a projected range of between 610 to 640km, dependent on terrain and payload - making it perfect for vehicles operating on same day back-to-base missions.
lveco's extended maintenance intervals of 90,000 km are claimed to be the longest in the industry for single-fuel gas vehicles.
The absence of complex aftertreatment systems associated with diesel vehicles means the Stralis NP requires no EGR, SCR, Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) or AdBlue - contributing significantly to its low maintenance advantages.
Compared with Nicholls' Euro 6 diesel vehicles, each Stralis NP emits around 90 per cent less N02 emissions, 99 per cent less particulate matter and 50 per cent less noise. They also reduce C02 by as much as 95 per cent when being fuelled on biomethane.
Paul Nicholls, managing director of Nicholls Transport, said: "Moving to alternative fuels has been high on our agenda - but gas is currently the only technology that's ready for 44-tonne operation. Gasrec has been hugely proactive and gave us the confidence to switch fuels, following experiences with demonstrators organised through lveco and Haynes...
"It's our collective responsibility as an industry to do something to tackle climate change and make road transport more sustainable, and by opening this LNG station and investing in the Stralis NP fleet, we're showing our customers and competitors that's possible to do today... As an industry, we really need to make this happen."
Sascha Kaehne, lveco's UK & Ireland business director, added: "Nicholls saw the potential for natural gas and we were delighted to help them take this big step forward in sustainability. lveco has delivered more than 35,000 natural gas-powered vehicles into service around the world, so we have a lot of confidence in this technology. For a business like Nicholls, LNG makes perfect sense.”
James Westcott, chief commercial officer of Gasrec, said: "We have installed a pumped mobile refuelling station which we use to seed new locations where we want to get LNG into an area quickly. It's ideal for an early adopter like Nicholls, being capable of supporting as many as 30 gas vehicles from a single location. This is the precursor to a larger and fully open-access development we are looking at for the Nicholls site.”