Fuelling the freight industry’s future with gas

Fuelling the freight industry’s future with gas

Transport Specialist | Calor

This year’s Freight in the City Expo took place at the beginning of November, and there was a real range of lessons to be learned from the event.


As cities strive to improve air quality through the rollout of clean air zones, freight operators must step up to the low-emission challenge or face the prospect of significant fines to enter urban areas. It very quickly became apparent at this year’s event that freight operators are looking for alternative fuel solutions that can assist them in meeting this challenge, with fuels such as LNG and BioLPG well-positioned to help.


These fuels provide affordable yet sustainable solutions to hauliers, without impacting on a vehicle’s performance, offering economical and efficient alternatives to conventional fuels, such as diesel.


Indeed, the Department for Transport states that while heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) account for only 5% of traffic, they are responsible for 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions for road transport in the UK. Therefore, the wider use of gas-based fuels is seen as the most effective way for fleet operators to reduce their carbon emissions.


Leading manufacturers such as Volvo Trucks, Iveco and Scania are now choosing LNG for a range of their vehicles. Cooled to a temperature of around -162°C, which means the gas liquefies and reduces in volume, the fuel is easy to store for long-haul operations. Furthermore, it is far quieter than diesel-fuelled vehicles that burn diesel in the combustion engine, and so can operate in inner-city locations where stringent noise restrictions might apply.


Then there’s BioLPG. Available exclusively from Calor, BioLPG is chemically identical to LPG, but offers a renewable drop-in solution for hauliers already powering their vehicles with LPG through dual fuel technology. This is achieved without the need to change any equipment or supply infrastructure. Created from ethically sourced feedstocks, BioLPG offers CO2 savings of between 50-80% when compared with conventional LPG, based on a 100% BioLPG substitution.


Furthermore, the opportunities for greener, gas-based fuels now seem even more assured, with measures such as the UK government’s decision to maintain the difference between alternative and main road fuel duty rates until 2032 being announced. Revealed only recently as part of the 2018 Budget, this move will play a key role in helping to support the de-carbonisation of the UK’s transport sector. By keeping gas prices lower than diesel, fleet operators will continue to have the security and confidence to invest in vehicles powered by fuels such as LNG and BioLPG.


It is very positive to see the UK government taking vitals steps such as this to help decarbonise the UK’s roads. ensuring those working in the UK’s transport sector are well placed to benefit from the environmental and financial benefits of a low-carbon economy. 


Here at Calor, we are committed to supporting the growth of LNG with the right infrastructure and support. Calor operates the UK’s largest national network of LNG refuelling stations, with stations in Lockerbie, Castleford in West Yorkshire, Lymm in Warrington, Grantham, Wolverhampton and Bristol.


To summarise, there has never been a better time for the freight industry to fully embrace gas-based fuels. While gas is already a part of the bigger picture, the Government’s Road to Zero strategy, the introduction of clean air and low emission zones, and the decisions around the 2018 Budget, means gas’ position as the clear fuel of choice for operators is secure.


For more information on Calor’s alternative fuel solutions for the freight market, please visit www.calor.co.uk/business or call 0800 121 7827.