Chilled and frozen logistics company McCulla (Ireland) Ltd has taken delivery of 10 new IVECO S-WAY NP CNG 4×2 tractor units as part of its new waste-to-energy transport model.
Eight out of the 10 trucks will immediately go into service on its Lidl contract powered by bio-methane from food waste collected from 41 Northern Ireland stores.
McCulla has been creating fully renewable bio-methane gas at its anaerobic digester (AD) plant in Lisburn since 2017 to power elements of its own business including its cold stores. Taking delivery of its IVECO S-WAY NP CNG trucks is the first time it has used its own gas to power its fleet.
McCulla runs a total fleet of around 100 trucks and over the next five years aims to phase out diesel in favour of gas to further reduce its emissions and reliance on fossil fuels.
The tractor units will deliver reduced carbon emissions on retail deliveries by up to 95% when operating on bio-methane and are the first of IVECO’s new S-WAY NP CNG models to go into service in the United Kingdom.
A major benefit of running a gas-powered fleet is that the trucks run considerably quieter than their diesel equivalents, enabling McCulla’s new IVECO S-WAY NPs to operate in urban areas in Quiet Mode for early morning and evening store deliveries.
The IVECO S-WAY majors on reducing Total Cost of Ownership and increasing productivity for operators like McCulla who also benefit from its 100% connectivity which means data is collected, processed and exchanged in real time between the driver and the transport office.
McCulla’s new (AS440S46T/FP CNG) IVECO S-WAY NP CNG trucks with AS sleeper cabs were supplied by NI Trucks in County Antrim and feature the 460hp Cursor 13 Natural Power engine coupled to the 12-speed HI-TRONIX automatic transmission. McCulla has also specified front axle air suspension to the tractor unit to add to the standard air suspension already fitted on the rear axle.
The Lidl fleet covers 2,300 daily road miles, delivering fresh and chilled foods to more than 300,000 weekly customers across its regional store network, which is made easier with the IVECO S-WAY’s new driver-centric cab providing first-rate living and working conditions.
The tractor units have been joined on the Lidl fleet by new Schmitz Cargobull ‘V7 SKO Cool’ refrigerated semi-trailers fitted with Carrier Transicold Vector® HE 19 units. The trailers are also equipped with high efficiency solar panels, supplied by fleet technology company, Genie Insights.
IVECO is the market leader in gas technology and expects bio-methane to play a major role in reducing carbon emissions within the transport industry.
Ashley McCulla, chairman of McCulla, said: “We have been producing all of our own electricity since 2017 from our anaerobic digester (AD) plant in Lisburn with a goal of using the energy to power our trucks. Working with Lidl Northern Ireland, we have delivered on that ambition and we are honoured to be part of a real first for Northern Ireland. We’re proud to see our new green fleet finally roll out across the region.”
Rod Hawkins, NI Trucks heavy truck business development manager said: “We are pleased to have played our part in making history here in Northern Ireland and to put the first of the new IVECO S-WAY NP CNG trucks into service. The feedback from drivers has been very positive in that once they are behind the wheel the controls and driving experience are the same as a diesel but just a little quieter.
Conor Boyle, Regional Director of Lidl Northern Ireland said: “This partnership with McCulla underlines our commitment to developing sustainable and innovative solutions which create real impact in every area of our business. From using renewable electricity to power our stores to advancing our Plastic Pledge and introducing numerous in-store initiatives to reduce waste, Lidl Northern Ireland is leading the way.
We are thrilled to now be the first supermarket retailer to successfully integrate the first waste-to-energy sustainable transport model. We’re proud to work alongside McCulla to pave the way for the sector and for Northern Ireland in driving a cleaner, greener economy through responsible business practice.”