Gasrec has recorded a 369% rise in demand for gas during the first half of 2019 when compared to the previous six months.
James West, chief commercial officer at Gasrec, said: “Launches last year from IVECO, Scania and Volvo are starting to have a real impact, as customer deliveries follow trials with seed vehicles and demonstrators.”
Volumes of compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) grew by 286% and 393% respectively, with the natural gas providers expecting sustained growth throughout the second half of 2019.
Westcott added: “Businesses transitioning to natural gas are reducing their carbon footprint. They are also taking advantage of a fuel which is around 40% cheaper than diesel, and trucks which are nearly 50% quieter too.”
Ocado marked its transition into gas-powered trucks in January with the opening of its natural gas refuelling station at its Hatfield Customer Fulfilment Centre. The supermarket brand operates a fleet of 29 CNG-powered Stralis NP 6x2 tractor units.
Graham Thomas, Ocado’s fleet operations manager, said: “We switched from a fleet of diesel Actros and Scania G-Series to the Stralis NP, and driver acceptance has been good.”
Mainly carrying out double-deck operations, Thomas stated that despite the extra drag of the larger trailers, the savings are still good: “The trucks are six to eight pence cheaper per kilometre than diesels. This means we can save up to £7,000 per year on fuel.”
However, some drivers do still suffer from ‘range-anxiety’ on the longer trips away from Hatfield, but Thomas stated that’s mainly due to the “infrastructure not being there, but when it is, there’s no logicall reason to go back to diesel.”