Iveco, the commercial vehicles brand of CNH Industrial N.V., has signed a major supply agreement with Jost Group, one of Europe’s largest transport and logistics companies, for 500 of Iveco’s Stralis NP heavy-duty trucks running on liquefied natural gas (LNG). This represents the largest deal for Stralis NP (Natural Power) vehicles to date.
The first 150 LNG-powered Stralis NP trucks will enter operation during 2018, with the full 500-vehicle fleet to be in service by 2020. They will replace four- to five-year-old diesel-powered vehicles in Jost Group’s fleet of 1,400 trucks and 3,000 trailers, which has grown steadily following a series of acquisitions. The company already operates 132 Stralis vehicles, including two running on compressed natural gas (CNG).
Commenting on the agreement, Roland Jost, owner of Jost Group, says, “This marks a key turning point for our business as we begin a strategic move away from our dependence on diesel and toward green logistics, as requested by our customers, which are demanding a more sustainable transport. Our excellent experience operating Stralis Euro 5 EEV diesel vehicles has seen us establish a solid relationship with Iveco, supported by a very strong service network across Belgium.”
He adds, “We’re proud to be amongst the early adopters of this new technology: Our goal for the next three years is to have 35 percent of our fleet running on LNG. Our group is also supporting this with an investment in our own LNG refueling infrastructure, with plans to open up to three filling stations within our major operating centers in Belgium.”
Pierre Lahutte, Iveco brand president, says, “Gas offers the widest range of opportunities to replace diesel in the commercial vehicle market – it’s no longer a fuel of tomorrow; it’s a fuel of today. This has been firmly demonstrated with one of Europe’s biggest fleets selecting the Stralis NP, running on LNG, to lead their fleet replacement program. Jost Group has clear sustainability goals and recognizes the benefits that our advanced experience in natural power vehicles can bring to its operation. We are extremely pleased to be growing our share of their fleet and introducing the Stralis NP and LNG into their operations.”
Iveco says demand for LNG is growing rapidly across Europe, with the German Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) having identified LNG as the best solution for long-distance road transport in the short term and for the next 10 to 15 years. When running on fossil-derived natural gas, the Stralis NP’s CO2 emissions are up to 10% lower than its diesel equivalent, depending on mission and gas composition – rising to up to 95% lower with the use of biomethane, according to Iveco. With its natural gas technology, the level of particulates are negligible and the NOx 50% lower compared to diesel over long haul mission, the company adds. It is also much quieter, reducing engine noise levels by around 50% – aiding deliveries in urban areas.
Iveco say it has developed a full range of natural-gas-powered trucks, vans and buses and sold more than 22,000 gas-powered vehicles to date.