Huntingdon-based Buffaload Logistics has invested £1.5m in Swedish family-owned manufacturer Hultsteins’ Ecogen electric generators following a successful 3-month trial.
Fitted to one of its Scania R450 6x2 tractor units, Ecogen uses the engines’ power take off (PTO) to generate electricity. When coupled up to its double deck Gray & Adams refrigerated and frozen trailers, the electricity generated by Ecogen keeps them cool instead of their diesel engine.
Since the trial 40 Ecogens have been ordered. Buffaload’s CEO, Ross Taylor, predicts that once the rollout is complete in March, the operator will be saving 400,000kg of carbon and 2,000-litres of fridge diesel per year. He said: “The [the Ecogens] so efficient, I think we’ll make the investment back after two years of use.”
Taylor added: “We investigated it thoroughly before we invested – in fact, I think it’s the most thorough trial we’ve ever done. We trialled Ecogen in different weather conditions and it’s hard to say whether our trailers used any fuel at all.”
To ensure that Ecogen continues to deliver savings, Buffaload has installed electric power points at all of its UK depots to power the trailers when loading and unloading for added fuel and carbon savings.
“This is not just about the obvious advantages of reduced running costs, but more to do with our contribution to a healthy UK environment, the air we breathe and global warming in general. Now is the time to make a difference and for our part, Hulsteins and Ecogen are already making an impact,” Taylor added.
Ecogen was developed by Cold Connect’s Stephen Maile before it was taken over by Hultsteins in 2019. Maile, now Hultsteins’ director of sales, said: “We changed the name over the door, but we continue to manufacture Ecogen to ensure Euro-6 emission standards are met for the cooling system as well as the truck.”
Hultsteins sells Ecogens to operators for £13,500 and will install them onsite.