DHL expands duel fuel fleet to cut CO2 emissions

Major logistics company DHL has introduced 63 new dual fuel vehicles to its existing 38, which it claims now makes the company the single largest dual fuel heavy trucks fleet operator in Europe.

The new additions bring the total in operation to 101 but the company has announced that a further 51 dual fuel vehicles are on order and set to join the fleet in coming months.

According to DHL, the decision to increase its duel fuel fleet is that the technology allows natural gas to be used in conjunction with diesel, reducing the total consumption of diesel and cutting CO2 emissions.

The vast majority of diesel used by DHL Supply Chain in the UK is through its heavy goods fleet for which alternative technologies such as hybrids and electric vehicles are “not viable”, it claims.

The cost of diesel has risen by up to 43% over the last three years and produces 2.546kgs of CO2 for every litre burned, whereas LNG when used with diesel in a dual fuel vehicle typically reduces CO2 emissions by 10-14%, the company states.

These new vehicles will be operated from the company’s Campus in Bawtry near Doncaster, which now houses a dedicated state-of- the-art liquefied natural gas (LNG) refuelling station, designed to minimise environmental impact and costs with the use of “zero loss” refuelling technology.

An estimated annual CO2 reduction of around 1,200 tonnes is expected at the Bawtry site in the coming years – a figure equivalent to 5,933 trailers full of CO2.

The move to use these vehicles, which are plated and designed to operate at 44 tonnes, will support the increasing need for DHL’s customers to reduce their carbon footprint and the opportunity to reduce their overall logistics spend, as well as aligning to DHL’s global GoGreen commitment to reduce CO2 emissions by 30% by 2020.

A spokesperson for major confectionary brand, Ferrero UK & Ireland, one of DHL’s customers, said: “The search for an ever greener supply chain is a real priority for us and one of the ways we do this is by collaborating with our partners to identify sustainable solutions.

“The use of dual fuel vehicles is an exciting development as they could result in a reduction of over 35 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, compared to a standard diesel vehicle,” the spokesperson added.

In June, DHL unveiled a prototype hybrid electric truck which it claims could reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions by up to 25%.

If successful, the company says this new technology could play a major role in its urban, local and home delivery operations in the future.

Leigh Stringer

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie