Asda puts 202 gas-powered Volvo FHs on the road

Commercial Motor
April 9, 2023

By Christmas Asda will have taken delivery of 202 Volvo FH LNG tractor units, in what is believed to be the UK’s biggest single order of alternative fuel HGVs.

The move is part of the supermarket’s plan to swap its core fleet of 1,000 tractor units from diesel to gas by 2024 and follows trials which showed running on biomethane reduced CO2 emissions by more than 80%.

The order comprises 29 4x2s for operation with single-deck trailers and 173 44-tonne 6x2s, which will pull double-decks. The longest run for the former will be 380 miles, said to be achievable on three quarters of a tank, while the latter will cover up to 350 miles between fills, which happen at Air Liquide and Gasrec.

All are fitted with sleeper cabs and come with a Volvo Gold Contracts maintenance package, said to provide 100% uptime.

The majority will remain in service until January 2026, which is 12 months longer than Asda’s typical replacement cycle for diesel vehicles.

“We began with a pair of Volvo FH LNG trial vehicles at our Avonmouth depot in December 2018, which quickly proved to be very capable,” said senior manager for national fleets Sean Clifton. “A further 49 joined between December 2019 and May 2020; and this latest order sees an additional 202 Volvo trucks being deployed across five additional sites in our network.”

“The higher capital price for gas trucks means it makes sense to run them longer. But having put the Volvos through their paces for two years, we have absolute faith in their ability to go the distance – even in our 24/7 operation, where trucks rarely stop.

“Our drivers in Avonmouth have really supported the transition. They love the Volvos and have found that running on gas is smoother and quieter than diesel, and there’s none of the range anxiety you can get with some of the other current alternative fuel options.”

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