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Nicholls Transport implements new LNG-fuelled IVECO fleet

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LNG Industry,

IVECO has announced that Nicholls Transport, together with Gasrec, has opened an LNG refuelling station in Kent, UK, which will be used to support an initial order for 10 Stralis NP 460 6x2 tractor units from local dealer Haynes Trucks.

The LNG refuelling station is the first of its kind in Kent, and is strategically situated for freight traffic bound for the continent, being less than five miles from Junction 5 of the M2 (with Nicholls making the site available to third parties by arrangement).

Paul Nicholls, Managing Director of Nicholls Transport, said: “Moving to alternative fuels has been high on our agenda – but gas is currently the only technology that’s ready for 44 t operation. Gasrec has been hugely proactive and gave us the confidence to switch fuels, following experiences with demonstrators organised through IVECO and Haynes.

“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’s possible to do today. We very much hope other local businesses in North Kent share our vision for a sustainable future and buy in to LNG in the same way. As an industry, we really need to make this happen.”

Sascha Kaehne, IVECO’s UK & Ireland Business Director, added: “Nicholls saw the potential for natural gas and we were delighted to help them take this big step forward in sustainability. IVECO has delivered more than 35 000 natural gas-powered vehicles into service around the world, so we have a lot of confidence in this technology. For a business like Nicholls, LNG makes perfect sense.

“The location of their refuelling facility is also strategically very important, serving as a gateway for freight traffic between London and continental Europe.”

James Westcott, Chief Commercial Officer of Gasrec, said: “We have installed a pumped mobile refuelling station which we use to seed new locations where we want to get LNG into an area quickly. It’s ideal for an early adopter like Nicholls, being capable of supporting as many as 30 gas vehicles from a single location. This is the pre-cursor to a larger and fully open-access development we are looking at for the Nicholls site.”

Nicholls added: “Margins are tight in haulage so you need to consider every possible angle to make a return as soon as possible. When we looked at total cost of ownership, the arguments in favour of LNG stacked up well.”

IVECO claims that it designed the Stralis NP to be the most sustainable heavy truck for 44 t operation. It is the only three-axle tractor unit on the market to run purely on LNG. It is mounted with gas tanks on both sides of the chassis, offering Nicholls a projected range of between 610 to 640 km, dependent on terrain and payload. This makes it ideal for vehicles operating on same-day back-to-base missions.

The new Stralis NPs are powered by IVECO’s proven 12.9 litre Cursor 13 NP engine, which delivers up to 460 hp. According to the statement, this offers the same blend of power and performance as its diesel vehicles. In addition to this, they also benefit from the latest generation Hi-Tronix transmission, which reduces gear shifting times by 10%.

IVECO claims the new Stralis NPs are expected to cover up to 175 000 km/yr when being double-shifted, and are planned to remain in service for a minimum of five years.

Another benefit of the Stralis NPs are IVECO’s extended maintenance intervals of 90 000 km. This is the longest in the industry for single-fuel gas vehicles, and results in less time in the workshop and more time on the road. Furthermore, the absence of complex after-treatment systems associated with diesel vehicles means the Stralis NP requires no EGR, SCR, diesel particulate filter (DPF) or AdBlue – adding significantly to its low-maintenance advantages.

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