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John Lewis, Tesco Join Demo Program for Low-Carbon Commercial Vehicles

A £23 million demonstration program aims to encourage road haulage operators in the UK to buy and use low-carbon commercial vehicles.

The trials, which are partially funded by the UK government, are expected to reduce CO2 emissions from freight and provide important information from a range of real-life situations that will increase industry confidence in low-carbon trucks in the long term, Freight Minister Mike Penning said.

The government funding will help operators establish and run fleets of alternative & dual-fuel heavy-goods vehicles by meeting part of the difference in capital cost between traditional vehicles and their low-carbon equivalents. More than 300 low-carbon commercial vehicles will be involved in the demonstration program.

The funding will also help meet the cost of the refueling points for use by the trial fleets, including the provision of 11 new public access refueling stations around the UK, which will be available for use by other operators.

Among the initiatives being tested, department store John Lewis will attempt to reduce carbon emissions 70 percent by substituting biomethane for diesel fuel and focusing on improvements in aerodynamics.

Grocery chain Tesco will deploy 35 dual-fuel tractor units at its frozen food distribution center that will alternate between liquid natural gas (LNG) and a biogas, according to BusinessGreen.

A project led by G-Volution will trial ten 44-ton, dual-fuel commercial HGVs using their patented dual-fuel technology ‘Optimiser’ and biomethane.

United Biscuits is working with partners to convert used cooking oil into a renewable fuel for 44-ton articulated vehicles.

J.B. Wheaton and Sons Ltd will trial the use of 28 dual-fuel converted trucks that will be fueled with compressed natural gas or liquid natural gas blended with renewable biomethane.

Other participants in the trials include: Ascott Transport Ltd, Brit European Transport Ltd, CNG Services Ltd, Howard Tenens Associates Ltd, T Baden Hardstaff Ltd, and Robert Wiseman Diaries.The demonstration trial fleets will be run for two years, during which time usage data will be gathered and analyzed by the Department for Transport.

In July, Tesco announced it will use software made by iVeridis to identify technologies that can further improve the energy efficiency of its stores.

Other companies testing CNG-fueled trucks include Fresh & Easy MarketDHLSunny Delight and UPS.

@Bart_King is a freelance writer and communications consultant.


Bart King is the principal of New Growth Communications, a network of affiliated content producers and strategists serving clients in the emerging green economy. He is also an associate editor for Sustainable Brands. Follow him @bart_kingGoogle+

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