Aldi to add biomethane HGVs to UK fleet as major new refuelling station opens

Pictured: The new refuelling station in Castleford

The retailer has made the announcement to coincide with the opening of CNG Fuels’ tenth refuelling station in the UK, in Castleford, West Yorkshire. CNG Fuels produces biomethane from food waste and manure to serve several major UK fleet operators including Evri, John Lewis Partnership, Warburtons and Royal Mail – all of which will be using the new Castleford facility. The hub will be capable of delivering up to 500 refuels for HGVs per day.

Aldi UK is the latest business to join the cohort of fleet managers working with CNG Fuels. It is planning to operate more than 30 CNG vehicles in the UK by the end of 2022. With a 90% reduction in life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions promised, in comparison to diesel, the move will help Aldi South Group to meet its target to reduce operational emissions by 26% by 2025, against 2016 levels.

Aldi’s national corporate responsibility director for the UK Liz Fox said: “Aldi is committed to reducing our carbon footprint, and adopting bio-CNG HGVs is another step forward in our plans to cut emissions from our UK fleets.”

Aldi is notably also trialling HGVs powered using hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) and pure electric and hybrid electric options.

Fox added: “CNG Fuels’ latest station in Castleford opens the door to major transport networks into the North East, and their growing network will only continue to extend the number of low carbon deliveries that we can make across the country every day.”

Biomethane boon

CNG Fuels is estimating that around 10% of the UK’s high-mileage HGV fleet will run on biomethane by 2025. It has recorded a doubling of demand for the fuel year-on-year from fleet operators.

The adoption of corporate net-zero targets is doubtless a major driver of biomethane adoption in the private sector. Net-Zero Tracker stated in June that half of the Forbes Global 2,000 have a public net-zero target, with national policy changes likely to push them to improve target ambition and credibility in the coming years.

In the UK specifically, the Transport Decarbonisation Plan confirmed a 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel car and van sales and a 2040 ban on new petrol and diesel HGVs, which has provided an extra push for fleet operators.

In the near term, UK fleet operators may see biomethane as a way to cut fuel costs. The RAC recorded a record average price at the pump of 191.5p per litre for petrol, and 199p for diesel, amid the global energy price crisis. Moderate price reductions have since been realised, with average prices standing at 172.8p for petrol and 183.7p for diesel on 16 August.

Nonetheless, research published this month following a study of 300 fleet decision-makers found that only half feel they have adequate plans in place to decarbonise in alignment with net-zero by 2050 at the latest. Click here to read edie’s coverage of that study.

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