Following the success of a six month trial which saw the vehicle used for recycling and street cleansing operations on behalf of Camden Council, London, Tachoblog has learnt that Iveco is gearing-up production of its right-hand drive natural gas powered Daily.

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Throughout the trial the Daily 65C14G cage tipper ran exclusively on fuel supplied by Gasrec, the UK’s first commercial producer of Liquid Biomethane (LBM), allowing direct comparisons to be drawn against similar vehicles operating on both diesel and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).

Across the six month period, which began on 21 October 2008, the Daily travelled a total of 7,040 km, consuming LBM at a rate of 24.6 kg/100 km.  Over the course of the same distance, on an urban cycle, a similar diesel-powered vehicle operated at 31.4 litres/100km.

The LBM powered Daily emitted just 2,771 kg of CO2 over this period, compared with 7,295 kg for the equivalent diesel model.

Commenting on the results, Martin Flach, Product Director at Iveco told Tachoblog, “The trial demonstrated a 62 per cent saving in CO2 over diesel and highlighted the suitability of LBM as a high quality fuel.

“The market for gas vehicles on the continent is many times that of the UK, but this is largely due in this country to the poor infrastructure and quality of gas from the Victorian mains that has a high moisture content and has historically resulted in reliability issues when used in commercial vehicles.  Following the success of this trial, we will be making our gas powered Daily available to operators nationwide for use with LBM.”

The trial also showed that the amount of LBM consumed per month (370 kg) for the vehicle (working on a basis of 1,500 km per month) equated to displacing 444 litres of diesel, showing a 30 per cent fuel cost saving per month.

Speaking to Tachoblog, Richard Lilleystone, Chief Executive Officer at Gasrec, added, “The gas we use to make the LBM for this vehicle comes from a landfill site in Albury, Surrey, which means it is not depleting fossil resources.

“Through creating and selling this fuel product, we recover the latent energy stored in material discarded by society, providing power which is particularly suited to vehicles operating in the urban environment. We are particularly pleased with the improvements achieved in air quality when using LBM to displace diesel.

“Every Local Authority in the UK would welcome reductions of 90 per cent particulate matter, 60 per cent reduction in nitrous oxide, 50 per cent reduction in sulphur dioxide and even a noise reduction of around 30 per cent.”

“It offers fleet operators a serious and renewable alternative for applications where vehicles operate on a regular back-to-base cycle, such as local authorities and distribution companies,” he adds.

LBM is a commercially competitive and environmentally sound fuel that can be directly substituted for natural gas. The Government considers LBM to be the most sustainable alternative fuel in terms of impact on resource depletion in relation to alternatives such as biodiesel and ethanol. Furthermore, LBM has the lowest carbon intensity of all commercially available alternative fuels – with one tonne of LBM equivalent to 1,200 litres of diesel, which is sufficient to fuel a 44 tonne heavy goods vehicle for an entire week.

Iveco’s natural gas powered Daily is built as a dedicated alternative fuel vehicle at the company’s production plant in Suzzara, Italy, and is subjected to the same build-quality standards as a line-built diesel.  Amongst a whole wealth of environmental benefits, its natural gas powered engine means that it is immune to both current and future oil price fluctuations.

The complete range of gas powered Daily’s extends to 28 different models available in the UK, plated between 3.5 and 6.5 tonnes, including three panel vans, five chassis cabs and five chassis crew-cabs, available in a variety of different wheelbase lengths.  The chassis cabs can be fitted with various bodies including curtainsides, tippers, dropsides, boxes or Lutons, providing the widest range of transport solutions available in the light vehicle sector.

All models are powered by the same 3 litre engine which is capable of producing up to 136 hp between 2,730 and 3,500 rev/min, and up to 350 Nm of torque between 1,500 and 2,730 rev/min.  It is built as a dedicated natural gas vehicle and is subjected to all of the same build-quality standards as a line-built diesel type.  Each vehicle offers a range of up to 380 km per tank and is exempt from London’s Congestion Charging zone.

Since 1999, more than 4,000 gas powered Daily vans and chassis cabs have been sold across Western Europe, highlighting Iveco’s significant investment in developing alternatives to traditional diesel powered commercial vehicles.