Sittingbourne-based Nicholls Transport has invested in 10 new IVECO Stralis NPs, and has built an LNG refuelling station in partnership with fuel facility operator, Gasrec.
Paul Nicholls, MD of Nicholls Transport, explained: “Moving to alternative fuels has been high on our agenda – but gas is currently the only technology that’s ready for 44-tonne operation. Gasrec has been hugely proactive and gave us the confidence to switch fuels, following experiences with demonstrators organised through IVECO and Haynes.”
Nicholls Transport’s Stralis NPs use the manufacturer’s 12.9-litre 460hp engines and Hi-Tronix gearboxes, produce 90% less N02, 99% less particulate matter, and 50% less noise than its fleet of 90 Euro-6 diesel Stralis.
Supplied by IVECO’s Haynes Trucks dealership in Maidstone, the new vehicles, which are expected to cover 175,000km annually when double-shifted, have a planned service life of around five years with extended maintenance intervals (every 90,000km) to maximise uptime, further improved by the Stralis NPs’ lack of AdBlue, diesel particulate filter, EGR or SCR, thus there’s less to maintain.
The LNG refuelling station is the first in Kent, located 5 miles from junction five of the M2, and can support 30 vehicles. Nicholls allows third parties to use the pumps as well, by arrangement. Sascha Kaehne, IVECO’s UK and Ireland business director, said: “The location of their refuelling facility is also strategically very important, serving as a gateway for freight traffic between London and continental Europe,”
Nicholls added: “Moving to natural gas shows how much we care about our planet. It’s our collective responsibility as an industry to do something to tackle climate change and make road transport more sustainable, and by opening this LNG station and investing in the Stralis NP fleet, we’re showing our customers and competitors that it’s possible to do today.”