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UK Backs Low-Carbon Vehicle Trials

August 22, 2012 in Biomethane, CNG, NGVs by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

The British government is putting upwards of $17 million (more than £11 million) into a raft of programs “to encourage road haulage operators in the UK to buy and use low carbon commercial vehicles.” Counting private funding, the various initiatives are valued at nearly $36 million (£23 million).

The UK’s Robert Wiseman Diaries, already a dual fuel operator, is to test 40 brand new articulated trucks with natural gas-diesel dual fuel systems as part of a government-supported program run by TSB, the Technology Strategy Board.

More than 300 low-carbon commercial vehicles will be involved, with data gathered for two years, and nearly a dozen new public-access fueling stations for natural gas vehicles will established.

The Robert Wiseman Dairies, the trucker J.B. Wheaton and Sons, dual fuel provider G-Volution, Chive Fuels and the retailer Tesco are among 13 companies leading trials in the program, which will be managed by the Technology Strategy Board in partnership with the Department for Transport and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles, TSB said Tuesday.

‘Wider Understanding and Acceptance’

“These trials include £2.4 million ($3.7 million) funding for publicly accessible gas stations which will encourage investment in low carbon trucks, and other vehicles, delivering long term benefits for the environment and reduced costs for operators,” UK Freight Minister Mike Penning says in TSB’s announcement.

“This trial will enable commercial vehicle operators to showcase alternative-fuel commercial vehicles,” said TSB chief executive Iain Gray. “It will help to accelerate a wider understanding and acceptance of low carbon vehicle technologies, while enabling the development of alternative fuel infrastructures.”

Among the projects,

  • Newport, Wales-based G-Volution will furnish its Optimiser brand dual fuel systems for trials in ten 44-ton commercial trucks, with direct comparisons made with diesel equivalents in different operating environments;
  • Somerset-based J.B. Wheaton and Sons “will trial, with other fleet operators, the use of 28 vehicles that will be fueled from compressed natural gas or liquid natural gas blended with renewable biomethane,” TSB says. “The project will also provide seven fixed refueling stations and five mobile stations, which can be shared with other fleet operators;” and
  • Glasgow-based Robert Wiseman Diaries, collaborating the UK’s Cenex and MIRA, will test 40 new factory dual fuel trucks from Volvo, substituting diesel with natural gas from two upgraded public access liquefied natural gas stations, one in the West Midlands and one in Scotland.
    Malcolm Murray is Robert Wiseman Diaries fleet manager.

Chive Fuels is participating in the J.B. Wheaton and Robert Wiseman Diaries projects, says Chive CEO Roy James.

“These trials will reduce CO2 emissions from freight and provide important information from a range of real-life situations that will increase industry confidence in low carbon trucks in the long term,” Minister Penning said.

Offsetting Incremental Costs

“The Government funding will help operators establish and run fleets of alternative and dual-fuel heavy-goods vehicles by meeting part of the difference in capital cost between traditional vehicles and their low carbon equivalents,” TSB said.

“The funding will also help meet the cost of the refueling points for use by the trial fleets, including the provision of 11 new public access refueling stations around the country, which will be available for use by other operators.”

TSB info, Nick Sheppard, +44-7824-599644; [email protected]; www.innovateuk.org

Robert Wiseman Dairies, Malcolm Murray, +44-1355-270665; [email protected]

Robert Wiseman Dairies info, Mark Mcdiarmid, +44-1355-598556; mobile +44-7825-383241; [email protected]; www.wiseman-dairies.co.uk

G-Volution, managing director Chris Smith +44-7909-975395; [email protected]

G-Volution (operations), Colin Gray +44-7850-560516; [email protected]

G-Volution (sales), Simon Pickess +44-7785-311785; [email protected]; www.g-volution.co.uk

J.B. Wheaton and Sons, Gary Wheaton or Martin Grinter, +44-1460-220216; [email protected]; www.jbwheaton.co.uk

Chive, CEO Roy James, +44-845-230-5022; mobile +44-776-481-8430; [email protected]; www.chive-ltd.co.uk

Cenex, CEO Robert Evans, +44-1509-635762; [email protected]; www.cenex.co.uk

Tesco, Dino Pappas, +44-7921-350044; [email protected]; www.tescoplc.com

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Source: Technology Strategy Board release with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

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