Supplied by dealer Guest Truck and Van, five of the compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles are going into service immediately, from Ocado’s Dordon fulfilment centre, near Tamworth.
The remaining 24 will go into operation at its Hatfield centre later this year, once a dedicated natural gas refuelling facility is opened there by Gasrec.
Stuart Skingsley of Ocado, says: “We were immediately attracted to the Stralis NP when it was launched as it appeared to be the step change in technology that would drive gas-powered trucks to a new place in the market.
“The demonstrator vehicle received positive feedback from our drivers, and our own experience driving the vehicle was also positive.
“The green credentials of this vehicle are clear, and once we had reviewed the fuel costs against our existing diesel fleet it was clear there was also a cost benefit to running these cleaner, quieter vehicles.”
The Stralis NP is powered by a Cursor 9 Euro VI natural gas engine, delivering the same 395bhp and 1,700 Nm torque as its diesel equivalent.
Each vehicle is fitted with eight gas tanks, offering an expected range of up to 600km. This fuel also offers the opportunity for Ocado to reduce its running costs as natural gas is around 30% cheaper than diesel.
Ocado has taken the trucks on a full R&M package with the dealer for the five-year lease period.
Pierre Lahutte, IVECO brand president, says the order could be “a significant turning point” for the adoption of natural gas heavy trucks in the UK.
His view is echoed by James Westcott, chief commercial office for Gasrec, who says: “Seeing the first CNG-powered trucks entering the Ocado fleet represents a turning point for the industry, as businesses begin the transition from diesel to a cleaner, quieter and cheaper fuel.”