Go Plant Fleet Services trials alternative fuel in road sweepers26 June 2019

Go Plant Fleet Services is about to start a six-month trial of Shell GTL (gas to liquid) fuel in road sweeper vehicles in London and Birmingham.

The commercial vehicle provider will test two heavy-duty Johnston 651 and 652 sweepers with Shell GTL fuel, and both vehicles will be fitted with telematics devices to capture data on air quality, noise pollution, performance and economy.

Supplied in the UK by Certas Energy, Shell GTL fuel is a drop-in alternative to diesel: it requires no engine modifications and is said to cut NOx by up to 37% and particulate matter by up to 90%. In addition, the cleaner-burning fuel is odourless and able to reduce noise levels by up to 5 decibels, a key benefit for urban operations.

Phil Quelch, national fleet engineering director at Go Plant Fleet Services, says: “As one of the leading providers of specialist commercial vehicles in the UK, we’re acutely aware of our responsibility to the environment. The search for alternative fuels and the requirements of emission standards being introduced in towns and cities across the country pose a major challenge to the industry.

“But we’re leading the way in the quest for a viable and long-term solution and have been looking into this area for quite some time. If the industry was to wait around for new technology to become available, that would take a lot of time – Shell GTL fuel is a drop-in alternative that has an immediate effect in reducing emissions and improving local air quality without engine modification.”

The results of using diesel and Shell GTL fuel in both the main and auxiliary engines will be collected during the process to enable accurate comparisons.

Quelch adds: “We’ve looked in depth at the potential of electric and hydrogen vehicles, but the truth is neither the technology nor the infrastructure is really there yet for heavy-duty road sweepers.”

Whereas Shell GTL fuel, he says, “can be used with our existing vehicles and we’re confident it can help us to future-proof our fleet, but the trial will provide us with total clarity of the benefits.”

Laura Cork

Related Companies
Certas Energy

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