John Lewis Partnership to co-develop major HGV biomethane refuelling station in Kent

Pictured: A Waitrose HGV refuelling at an existing site

The parent company of Waitrose and John Lewis was one of the UK’s earliest corporate adopters of biomethane-powered HGVs and now operates 400 such vehicles. It has operated these vehicles since 2015 in a bid to reduce fleet emissions.

As the retailer works to increase that number to 520 by 2028, it is co-investing in several pieces of refuelling infrastructure, including ReFuels’ new refuelling station in Aylesford, Kent. John Lewis Partnership notably hosts its distribution centre for the South-East nearby.

Other fleet operators will be able to access the refuelling station, which will host 12 pumps and have the capacity to provide a 500 full tanks of fuel each day. The site is near popular routes including the M20 and M2.

John Lewis Partnership’s general manager for fleet, Justin Laney, said the new station is “another important step towards realizing” the company’s goal to fully convert its HGV fleet to biomethane by 2028. This forms part of a wider goal to end the use of petrol and diesel vehicles at the group by 2030.

Existing data from biomethane HGVs managed by John Lewis Partnership has confirmed that they generate around one-fifth of the carbon dioxide of traditional diesel HGV models.

As for ReFuels, the business is aiming to operate at least 30 biomethane refuelling sites in the UK by 2026, up from 12 at present. It believes it could serve up to 15,000 HGVs per day with this capacity.

The station in Aylesford is a joint venture between CNG Fuels, the infrastructure arm of ReFuels, and investment management firm Foresight Group.

HGV levy

Earlier this month, the UK Government reinstated the HGV levy following a temporary suspension due to Covid-19.

Zero-emission HGVs are now exempted from paying the HGV levy, provided they are emission-free at the tailpipe and would also be otherwise exempt from vehicle excise duty (VED). This exemption does not extend to hybrid vehicles.

The UK’s 2050 net-zero target is supported by a goal to end the operation of HGVs which are not zero-emission by 2040.

Comments (1)

  1. Rob Heap says:

    Great to hear that biomethane is beginning to be recognised as a true green gas. The importance of eliminating HGV GHG emissions at the truck exhaust pipe is still not appreciated. More companies need to follow the JLP lead.
    Well done CGN too.
    The supply of AD produced biomethane for HGV fuel should increase when more local authorities roll out source segregated food waste collections that are sent to AD for processing. However, local authorities are dragging their feet and source segregated food waste collections are not being embraced fast enough. It is disappointing to see that our government appear to be doing nothing to make source segregated food waste collection happen.

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