Online supermarket Ocado opened its first natural gas refuelling station at its Hatfield Customer
Fulfilment Centre on January 8. Ocado is the first UK retailer to self-fund the purchase of an onsite grid connected station outright.

The site launched with 29 Iveco Stralis tractor units powered by blended biomethane, a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).

Replacing existing diesel vehicles, this represents 20% of the online retailer’s HGV fleet, an industry-leading figure.

Environmental benefits of switching to gas include 99% fewer particulate emissions and 70% less nitrogen oxide than the latest diesel standard.

The trucks are on average 50% quieter than diesel vehicles, so are kinder to residential areas. The new vehicles will reduce the Ocado HGV fleet CO2 emissions by 29% annually.

Ocado’s gas refuelling station has been designed and built by Gasrec, a major fuel supplier for natural gas-powered HGVs on UK roads.

The businesses have agreed a 10-year support and maintenance contract, with Ocado also announcing plans to invest in natural gas technology at future sites.

The investment in natural gas is part of Ocado’s wider strategy to explore and invest in carbon-friendly alternatives to diesel fuel. The retailer is also testing electric and hybrid delivery vehicles.

Graham Thomas, Fleet Services Manager at Ocado said: “By investing in gas-powered vehicles, and in our first onsite refuelling station, we’re future- proofing our fleet and our business.

“Emissions from CNG are cleaner than Euro 6 standards which start to take effect with the London Low Emissions Zone from April, and will soon be followed by a further 32 Clean Air Zones.”

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