Tesco.com to trial biomethane as part of massive Iveco Daily order10 August 2010

Tesco.com, Tesco's online shopping subsidiary, is taking delivery of 795 Iveco Daily light commercials, of which 25 are EcoDailys, powered by compressed biomethane (CBM) in a major trial of the technology.

Dino Papas, fleet transport manager at Tesco.com, says the retailer will take its bio-natural gas from Gasrec's plant, which cleans waste gas streams from a landfill site in Surrey.

"The scale of the CBM trial will allow us to assess the performance of the natural gas vehicles comprehensively," says Papas. "It represents one of the most important trials we have ever run and, if it proves successful, it could have a major impact on our future transport strategy."

In comparison with diesel, Gasrec's CBM reduces particulate emissions by 90%, NOx by 60% and SO2 by 50%. Noise from the engine is also reduced by around 30%.

As for the remaining 770 Dailys, these are 35S11 AGiles, with the six-speed automated transmission, which provides a choice of automatic or manual sequential gear selection for stop-start work.

These are the latest AGile models, with revised control software claimed to improve the driving experience, by allowing driver-initiated down-shifting for engine brake performance and anticipating traffic conditions without exiting from the fully automatic mode. The system also analyses pressure applied to the accelerator and adapts its response to the driver's style.
Commenting on Tesco.com's decision to specify automated gearboxes across its new Iveco fleet, Papas says: "We opted for the AGile transmissions as Iveco's trial data shows that it reduces wear and tear on the driveline in urban applications, where the mainstay of our fleet operates."

And he adds: "It's also proven to optimise fuel economy, which supports our environmental goals, and will allow our drivers to place maximum attention on the road."

As for the rest, bodywork is being manufactured by Lancashire-based Solomon, with triple-compartment insulated bodywork to transport ambient, refrigerated and frozen goods – with refrigeration units supplied by Suffolk-based Hubbard and GAH.
The Dailys are also being built with side loading doors on the nearside to permit safe unloading by the driver at the kerbside.
Each vehicle is also being equipped with Microlise telematics to provide information on vehicle performance, driving style and fuel consumption – both to support Tesco's driver training programme and to provide environmental and safety benefits. The units also provide tracking for vehicle security.

The new fleet will be spread across the majority of Tesco.com's 300-plus sites throughout the UK, with the Daily's covering the 70,000 home deliveries it makes each day. Each of the vehicles is to remain in operation for five years and will clock up an average 25,000 miles per year.

Brian Tinham

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