Hermes is investing in more CNG-powered IVECO 4x2 tractor units and will run a trial with a DAF hydrogen tractor next year as part of its drive to reduce carbon emissions.
It started buying renewable bio-CNG from CNG Fuels two years ago and now has 30 gas-powered tractor units on the roads. It is now expanding the gas fleet to 72 vehicles, the largest in the UK, making up almost half its mainly DAF trunking fleet. The vehicles are refuelled at Hermes' Warrington hub and at third party stations in Leyland and Daventry.
Hermes operations director - hubs and depots Jon Ormond said the parcels firm had tried CNG-powered rigids too but with limited success.
While bio-CNG is delivering carbon savings of over 80% compared with diesel, Hermes will test a zero-tailpipe emissions DAF hydrogen tractor unit next year.
Hermes has also gone 100% electric at its depot in Beckton just to the east of London City Airport, using 32 battery electric Nissan eNV200 vans to deliver into central London. The Beckton site employs all its delivery couriers after Hermes insourced deliveries there from Gnewt and the vehicles are charged overnight at the depot.
Ormond said that Hermes wanted to use a variety of alternative low carbon fuels to achieve its goal of halving CO2 emissions by 2020. “It is dangerous to rely on just one fuel,” he said. “The government has capped the duty on natural gas for now but we can't back one type of fuel.”