CNG Fuels, Waitrose and Cambridge University join up to show benefits of biomethane

In a bid to demonstrate how compressed natural gas can slash road transport emissions, CNG Fuels, supermarket chain Waitrose and Cambridge University are set to collaborate on a pioneering large scale study.

CNG Fuels is opening a renewable biomethane refuelling station as part of the project, which will be used by 58 Waitrose and John Lewis trucks. Cambridge University specialists will analyse the performance data of the vehicles using the station.

The project aims to encourage UK fleet operators to switch from diesel to biomethane by demonstrating performance benefits while also showing that CNG stations can support growing demand for gas. It has received funding from the Office for Low Emissions Vehicles (OLEV) in collaboration with Innovate UK.

CNG’s public access refuelling station in Northampton will open this Autumn. The facility is located at the Red Lion Truck Stop, just a short distance from where Waitrose have their national distribution hub.

The facility will have capacity to refuel more than 350 trucks a day and can be supplied by mobile CNG trailers if an emergency cuts off the gas supply. Meanwhile, back-up power generation will allow it to carry on operating in the event of a power cut.

“100% renewable biomethane fuel offers fleet operators the chance to dramatically cut carbon emissions, improve air quality and save money. We are now seeing increasing levels of interest and orders from fleets of all sizes,” said Baden Gowrie-Smith, Chief Financial Officer of CNG Fuels.

“This study will help convince others to make the shift and demonstrates that this is a solution that can be scaled up rapidly.”

The trial is due to finish in September 2019 and will produce the first report on the performance of a large dedicated CNG fleet and its refuelling infrastructure for OLEV, giving it valuable evidence to promote the benefits of low-carbon technologies to the freight transport industry.

Venn Chesterton, Ultra Low Emission Vehicle Lead, Innovate UK, said: “Innovate UK are looking forward to the results of this work and understanding the real-world emissions associated with this technology and how it could play a role in decarbonising the UK’s HGV sector.”

The project is part of the Low Emission Freight and Logistics Trial, funded by the OLEV in partnership with Innovate UK.

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