Temperature-controlled operators are having to balance environmental obligations with the increased running costs expected when the long-standing rebate on red diesel for the sector is withdrawn in under two years’ time.
First Asset Finance director Martin Vodden explains: “From an environmental standpoint the Euro VI emissions standard is clearly a good thing, but as yet, there is no such control applicable to a diesel-powered refrigeration unit. Combine this with the hike in diesel costs which will hit the sector in April 2022, and it follows that operators throughout the cold chain are turning to manufacturers who can provide an affordable and sustainable alternative to conventional systems.”
Accordingly, Hultsteins’ on-board, PTO-driven electric generator, Ecogen, is already making its mark in temperature-controlled fleets throughout Europe, says Graham Usher, MD of Eco Truck Fridge and Hultsteins’ sales agent in the UK.
Usher adds that for a typical fridge engine consuming 3-5 litres of red diesel per hour for 2,500 hours per annum, the cost in terms of fuel bills and environmental damage is not only significant at today’s rates but after the price rise, will be substantial – perhaps £5-6,000 additional cost for each trailer.”
Depending on the annual amount of running hours, the Ecogen system could expect to see a return on investment in approximately 18 months.
This relatively fast ROI, according to Martin Vodden, combined with Ecogen’s low cost of ownership, enable First Asset Finance to structure funding solutions with realistic residual values, in five-year contracts.