Natural gas powered lorries are to be road-tested by six of the UK’s major fleet operators.
Project managed by technology and services firm Air Liquide, the trial will be funded in part by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and Innovate UK.
It will see businesses working in the transport and logistics sector, including Kuehne + Nagel, Wincanton, Asda, Brit European, Howard Tenens and Great Bear, trial the effectiveness of 81 gas-fuelled heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).
HGV fleets currently account for around 17% of all UK road transport emissions.
A range of different vehicle configurations will be tested with the aim of creating a wealth of valuable data on vehicle performance, fuel efficiency, reliability and cost.
Trial vehicles running on compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) are expected to reduce carbon emissions by up to 8% and those running on biomethane are forecast to cause a 70% reduction, compared to a similarly sized diesel vehicle.
The trial will also test liquid nitrogen cooling systems, which aim to reduce the high energy demands of refrigeration units and further reduce emissions.
John Rogerson, Fleet Operations Manager at Asda, said: “We are excited to work with Cenex, Air Liquide and our other project partners to hopefully demonstrate the impact low emissions HGV technology can have on the entire industry, while infusing the latest technology into our fleet and reducing our overall carbon footprint.”