Hermes will be taking delivery of a further seven 400-horsepower Natural Power IVECO Stralis NP 400 (AS440S40T/P NG) 4x2s into its 400 strong fleet of tractor units, and now runs the largest Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) powered fleet in the UK of 90 vehicles, all of which are IVECO.
Its solus IVECO Stralis Natural Power truck fleet all run on CNG and were chosen based on their green credentials, low fuel costs and driver acceptability. In addition to primary environmental considerations the company has reported fuel cost savings per truck, making the Stralis NP’s Total Cost of Ownership very favourable when compared with diesel.
Sustainability has become an even greater focus for Hermes as it continues to reduce the emissions and noise pollution of its fleet, particularly when operating in urban areas and trunking between depots at night. The trucks contribute to a quieter working environment emitting just 71dB(A), PIEK Quiet Truck certified, when running in Silent Mode.
Hermes statistics show that the IVECO Stralis NP reduces CO2 emissions by over 80% when running on biomethane compared with a diesel Euro 6 vehicle, resulting in a reduction in excess of 13,500 tonnes of CO2 across its 90-strong CNG fleet annually. Particulates are also reduced by 99% and NOx by 60%.
Hermes opted for CNG because it is the most environmentally friendly and cost-effective alternative to diesel for HGVs. CNG Fuels has built a Bio-CNG refuelling station next to the Hermes parcel distribution facility in Warrington, which is the largest of its kind in Europe, capable of refuelling 800 trucks a day.
“The Warrington site was developed to cater for large operators like Hermes who are switching their truck fleets to gas power based on the healthy reductions in emissions and fuel costs,” explained Peter Eaton, CNG Fuels’ general manager.
“Our latest evaluation shows that typically a single CNG truck can achieve a fuel cost saving of between £20,000-£25,000 per annum when compared to a comparable diesel unit and has an average greenhouse gas emission reduction of around 85% when running on our 100% biomethane fuel. We are currently in the process of developing a nationwide network of Bio-CNG refuelling infrastructure to support fleet operators like Hermes make the switch to this low-carbon fuel,” he added.
100% of the fuel supplied by CNG Fuels is renewable and sustainable biomethane approved under the Department for Transport’s Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) scheme and is currently sourced from waste feedstocks, such as food waste.
“We are pioneers in our industry and that extends into the way we run our trucks, which is why we continue to add Stralis NPs to our fleet. Our approach to business is very sustainable and we are proud to champion alternative low carbon fuels to achieve our goal of slashing emissions,” explained Mervyn McIntyre, Hermes Head of Network Fleet and Vehicle Compliance.
“The Stralis trucks are performing very well and are helping keep our operating costs down as well as emissions and noise pollution. The reliability of the truck in combination with the investment and support from our dealer CFS Glasgow within our vehicle maintenance units means our fleet is saving fuel but downtime is kept to an absolute minimum. We are now the largest CNG-powered fleet by choice made possible by working with forward-thinking partners such as IVECO, CFS Glasgow and CNG Fuels.
“The majority of new trucks we have added to our fleet over the past 12-18 months have been CNG instead of diesel, a policy that is set to continue,” he added.
The Stralis NP continues to be one of the most sustainable heavy trucks for 40-tonne operation with gas tanks mounted on both sides of the chassis, making it perfect for Hermes’ back-to-base trunking operation. Drivers also benefit from a quieter driving experience.
Its maintenance intervals of 75,000km and absence of EGR, SCR, Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) or AdBlue contributes to its low-maintenance advantages for the modern-day operator looking to run a green and cost-efficient truck fleet. The IVECO Cursor 9 NP engine develops 1,700 Nm of torque at between 1,200-1,575rpm coupled to a 12-speed automated transmission, the first to be fitted to a gas-fuelled truck.
“We enjoy working with Hermes by introducing innovation and sustainability into its truck fleet operation. Our trucks are already paying Hermes dividends and by working with external partners like CNG Fuels we are able to help operators realise that gas power is a proven technology that is a reality today for heavy truck operation, and a reality that can benefit the environment, their green credentials and their bottom line” said Gareth Lumsdaine, IVECO Truck Business Line Director.
IVECO expects biomethane to play a major role in the future of road transport. In pioneering the circular economy approach and incorporating aspects of carbon sequestration to draw carbon dioxide away from the atmosphere, IVECO is looking to Natural Power as the means to open the door to negative greenhouse gasses.