Online electricals retailer AO has introduced ten compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles to its fleet.
Commercial vehicle company Fraikin has delivered the CNG vehicles for the retailer, which has signed a five-year, full-service contract hire agreement for the IVECO S-WAY NP 4×2 tractor units.
The vehicles are the first natural gas vehicles to join AO’s 129-strong trunking fleet. They operate on compressed biomethane and they will replace older, diesel-powered trucks as part of the retailer’s carbon reduction ambitions.
The CNG vehicles will carry large appliances between AO’s depots in Crewe and north London, and they are expected to clock up around 125,000 miles per year. Fraikin has worked with AO since 2017, and the deal represents a greener direction for the partnership.
According to the companies, the new truck design features improved aerodynamics to help reduce drag and improve fuel efficiency, and it provides a range of up to 380 miles on a full tank.
David Ashwell, managing director of AO Logistics, said: “We are always looking at ways to improve our operation in terms of both sustainability and fuel efficiency – trialling these new IVECO tractor units is a fantastic step towards reducing our impact on the environment.”
Peter Eaton, sales & business development manager at CNG Fuels, which operates a CNG refuelling infrastructure in the UK, added: “These vehicles will be running on 100% renewable and sustainable biomethane and will be helping to reduce HGV emissions by over 90% currently.
“By the end of 2022 our aim is to deliver biomethane that will achieve a net zero emissions target for all of our customers.”
If the new CNG vehicles prove to be a success, AO will look to replace more diesel-powered assets.
Other retailers exploring alternatively-fuelled vehicles in their respective supply chains include the UK’s largest grocer, Tesco, as well as electricals retailer, Currys, and department store chain, John Lewis.
[Image credit: AO and Fraikin]