Logistics firm Kuehne + Nagel is trialling two ‘engineless’ refrigeration systems in vehicles transporting chilled goods, in a bid to prepare its commercial fleet for stricter air quality rules initiatives in cities.
Two vehicles running on the company’s contract with hospitality firm Whitbread – which owns well-known brands including Costa Coffee and Premier Inn – have been fitted with multi-temperature ICELAND units from vehicle refrigeration specialist Carrier Transicold.
The units are mounted to an 18-tonne low-entry Mercedes-Benz Econic and a 26-tonne DAF CF, both on contract from refrigeration vehicle rental firm Petit Forestier.
According to Carrier Transicold, the units are driven by a hydraulic pump running directly from the trucks’ Euro VI diesel engines – removing the need for a separate diesel engine to operate the refrigeration system, which it is claimed will reduce emissions from the vehicle.
As well as the reported reduction in emissions, Carrier Transicold claims that the units are also quieter to run than a fully diesel alternative.
The DAF CF is based in Wellingborough and delivers into Birmingham and Nottingham, both of which are expected to operate a Clean Air Zone by 2020. The Econic operates in London, which will enforce the country’s first Ultra-Low Emission Zone, also by 2020.
Andrew Blake, national distribution manager, Kuehne + Nagel, said: “Within the lifetime of these vehicles, fleets in major cities are going to be facing stricter rules surrounding vehicle emissions. After consulting with Petit Forestier, we felt it was the perfect time to put Carrier Transicold’s new engineless transport refrigeration technology to the test.”
Brodie McMillan, logistics director for Whitbread, added: “At Whitbread, we believe we have a responsibility to operate in a way that respects both people and planet, and cutting CO2 emissions from our supply chain is part of that. If these units deliver the benefits we’re expecting, Kuehne + Nagel will be looking to introduce the same technology into our delivery fleet, reducing the environmental impact of our vehicles and helping to improve air quality.”