Brit European on track with fuel savings scheme

A NORTH West company piloting a green transport revolution, says the early signs are promising.

Crewe-based vehicle delivery company Brit European, which was picked as one of the partners for a £23m government scheme to encourage the use of lower carbon commercial vehicles, says the project is on target to deliver the expected reductions in fuel costs and carbon emissions.

Brit European, which works for the likes of JCB, Mercedes Benz, Porsche, Jaguar Landrover and Toyota, has converted 36 of its transporters to allow the engines to burn a combination of diesel and natural gas simultaneously.
Half way into a two-year pilot programme it says the results suggest it’s possible to reduce fuel costs by 10% and emissions by up to 25%.

The company was one of 13 logistics companies selected by the  Technology Strategy Board to receive funding support to establish fleets running on alternative and dual-fuel. Some 300 low-carbon commercial vehicles nationwide are involved including trucks used by Tesco, the John Lewis partnership, Robert Wiseman Dairies, and the BOC Group.

The technology is retrofitted and allows compressed natural gas (CNG) to replace up to 55% of the diesel fuel used to drive the engine.

Graham Lackey, managing director of Brit European, said: “We’re at the half-way point and have HGVs that have done 75,000 miles without experiencing any significant issues in terms of performance or reliability.  
“The data from the trial is providing the hard evidence that dual fuel is substantially cheaper and cleaner. The exercise is also creating a wealth of information from a range of real-life situations that will increase industry confidence in low carbon trucks in the long term.”

Brit European says its converted HGV fleet is doing around 60,000 miles a week, making significant cost savings. With the £30,000 capital cost of the conversion, the company expects to make its investment back in two years.

Neil Sturmey, a partner at accountancy firm Grant Thornton, which advises Brit European and a number of low carbon businesses in the North West, said: “Fuel costs are always a sensitive issue and if you extrapolate the 25% reduction in carbon emissions across the entire UK transport fleet you are talking about a step-change towards a cleaner industry. ”