As part of the Technology Strategy Board Competition for reduced Carbon Technologies in commercial Vehicles, Brit European and its consortium partners (CNG Services and Microlise), have secured funding in excess of £1million from the government-backed Technology Strategy Board (TSB) as part of its Low Carbon Truck Demonstration Trial programme.
The project will involve the installation of a gas refuelling facility on the A50 corridor in Derbyshire and the operation of a fleet of Dual Fuel Mercedes Benz tractor units and drawbars focussed on supporting JCB operations in and around Uttoxeter. The consortium will also be developing the on board telematics software/hardware to monitor more accurately CO2 output and engine usage of dual fuels.
“We embarked on a search for an alternative to the diesel engine nearly two years ago with the full encouragement and support of JCB”, comments Graham Lackey, Brit European Managing Director. “As a business and a board we could see that diesel engine efficiency was probably only going to achieve marginal gains in the foreseeable future and that simply passing on fuel increases via fuel escalators to our customers was not the way forward. We could also see that we had to make a step change in our approach to reduce carbon emissions by a third, (in the next 5 years), to achieve our own corporate aspirations and those of our major and valued customers. Only dual fuel technology and the use of natural gas in conjunction with diesel fuel and the compression engine offered that opportunity. As it turns out, both the Department for Transport and the Technology Strategy Board share that same viewpoint.”
John Baldwin, Managing Director of CNG Services outlines the reasons why this is such an exciting project. “The Brit European project allows us to utilise further our current CNG (Compressed Natural Gas), re-fuelling facility at Crewe and to show the potential of CNG as a vehicle fuel to not only significantly reduce CO2 emissions but prove its commercial benefits also. It also showcases the ability to put in cost effective ‘mother-daughter’ refuelling facilities to develop dual fuel fleets around the country and finally it provides opportunities to utilise the developing sources of Bio gas to give even better CO2 reduction benefits for the future.”
“Having worked closely with Brit European on a previous project, when Graham invited us to join the project we were very excited,” said Chris Wallace, Microlise Sales Director. “Our plans will give the Microlise telematics system and software a unique ability in the market to monitor CO2 output and engine efficiency utilising more than one type of fuel.”
The Environmental Efficiency Project began officially on the 1st November 2012 and the first dual fuel vehicles will be on the road from 1st March 2013.