Coca-Cola Enterprises trials first UK CBG-powered Stralis09 July 2010

Coca-Cola Enterprises has begun trials of three 21-tonne Iveco Stralis trucks: one running on biomethane gas (CBG), with a standard Bevan curtainside body; another the same but using Iveco's Cursor 8 ultra low-emission 310hp EEV diesel engine; and the third, as the second, but fitted with the aerodynamic Bevan21 body.

The CBG-powered rigid is the first such unit to be operated anywhere in the world by CCE, and the first biomethane powered Stralis to hit the UK.

Darren O'Donnell, logistics asset manager at CCE, explains that the trial will be used to determine the firm's long-term sustainable transport strategy, and that the company has installed a roadgas LCBG refuelling station at its distribution facility in Enfield, Middlesex for the purpose.

"Our primary reason for selecting [CBG] is that it has the lowest carbon intensity of all commercially available alternative fuels, allowing us to benefit from the best possible well-to-wheel [carbon] saving," says O'Donnell.

"The gas used comes from a landfill site in Surrey, which means it is not depleting any fossil resources. This effectively allows us to power the Stralis using latent energy recovered from rubbish," he adds.

Meanwhile, Iveco says that the Stralis – an AD260S30Y/FS-D CNG – was purpose-built on its production line and is recommended for operation in the UK with CBG from Gasrec. The unit has a six cylinder 7.8 litre Cursor 8 engine, producing 300hp at 2,000rpm and 1,100Nm of torque between 1,100 and 1,650 rev/min, matched to an Allison 3500 six-speed automated gearbox.

O'Donnell says there will be detailed independent monitoring by Cenex, the government's centre of excellence for low carbon technologies, with vehicle trials planned for Millbrook later this year.

He also says that CCE will compare the performance of its CBG-powered standard body Stralis against the direct diesel equivalent, while also running "head-to-head [tests], to see whether the more streamlined unit can deliver any worthwhile benefits in terms of fuel savings."

And he adds: "Aerodynamic systems need a long, steady run to deliver optimum results in terms of mpg efficiency, whereas these two new trucks are on multi-drop work."

Bodybuilder Bevan says its aerodynamic offering, which has a curved roof, moulded air deflector and cab collar, is designed to reduce wind resistance – and claims fuel bills can be reduced by 15%.

All of the rigids have have compact day cabs and full air-suspension, for a flat chassis whether the vehicles are unladen, laden, lowered for manual unloading or raised for dock loading. They are also all equipped with rear-steer axles.

Brian Tinham

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