Waitrose, John Lewis, Argos and Brit European are among the first companies in the UK to have committed to using renewable biomethane fuel for their long-distance lorries.
The biomethane fuel is to be supplied by Solihull-based CNG Fuels, which announced the commitment today (1 December).
The fuel is made from the gas harvested through processing food waste. The gas is compressed at CNG Fuels’ high-capacity refuelling stations in Leyland, Lancashire and Crewe, Cheshire.
According to the company, the fuel is 35%-40% cheaper than diesel and emits 70% less CO2, on a well-to-wheel basis. As such, it offers fleet operators the opportunity to reduce running costs and emissions, the company says.
CNG fuel-powered engines also meet the latest Euro 6 emissions standards, and are up to 50% quieter than diesel engines.
Supplier of compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel, CNG Fuels is now sourcing its entire supply from biomethane.
The company is developing a nationwide network of refuelling stations on major trunking routes fed by the high-pressure gas grid and is delivering fuel by trailer to customer depots within 100 miles of its stations.
Including fuel duty, biomethane CNG retails at 65p/kg before VAT (the equivalent of 49p/litre for diesel), with prices lower for bulk purchases.
The biomethane has been independently verified as renewable and sustainable, and has been approved under the Department for Transport’s Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) scheme.
The gas qualifies under the initiative because it originates from anaerobic digestion plants – waste treatment facilities that break down organic matter – which are not supported by the Renewable Heat Incentive or other subsidy schemes.
CNG Fuels is targeting operators of high-mileage HGVs for uptake of the fuel. HGVs travel an average of 125,000 miles every year, and while CNG-powered trucks are more expensive than those that use diesel, for HGVs covering this mileage fuel savings can recoup the extra cost within around two to three years.
Philip Fjeld, chief executive of CNG Fuels, said: “Renewable and sustainably sourced biomethane is the most cost-effective and lowest-carbon alternative to diesel for HGVs, and is attracting increasing interest.
“We are expanding our refuelling infrastructure nationwide to help fleet operators save money, cut carbon and clean up our air. We are proud to be the first company in the UK to offer its customers RTFO-approved biomethane, and are pleased to be able to do so at the same price as fossil fuel gas.”