Ocado opens first on-site natural gas refuelling station10 January 2019

Online grocery retailer Ocado has opened a natural gas refuelling station, located at its customer fulfilment centre in Hatfield, as part of its £3 million investment in alternative fuel technology.

Other shared-service gas refuelling stations exist in the UK, but Ocado’s Hatfield station is the first on-site facility purchased by a business upfront.

The site launches with 29 HGVs – IVECO Stralis NP tractors – powered by blended biomethane, a compressed natural gas.

Replacing existing diesel vehicles, this represents one-fifth of the operator’s HGV fleet, and will reduce its CO2 emissions by 29%. The facility can accommodate up to 80 vehicles and the operator plans to increase the number to 40 trucks this year.

Ocado’s gas refuelling station has been designed and built by Gasrec, with the two businesses agreeing a 10-year support and maintenance contract. Ocado also says it will invest in natural gas technology at other sites.

Graham Thomas, fleet services manager at Ocado, said: “By investing in gas-powered vehicles, and in our first on-site refuelling station, we’re future-proofing our fleet and our business.”

James Westcott, chief commercial officer at Gasrec, said: “Ocado reacted immediately to the range of dedicated natural gas vehicles becoming available to HGV fleets and we’ve been able to design, build and commission the onsite refuelling infrastructure in time to meet the new trucks entering service.

“It’s fantastic to be working with a company so focused on improving the sustainability of its fleet – a move firmly backed by government, which has committed to supporting natural gas vehicles with a duty reduction until 2032.”

Laura Cork

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