The largest order for single-fuel-gas-powered trucks of any manufacturer to-date in the UK is about to take place, with the online supermarket Ocado being set to take on 29 new IVECO Stralis NP tractor units.

Supplied by Guest Truck and Van, five of the compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles (AS44S40T/P NP) will enter service immediately, operating out of the company’s Dordon CFC (customer fulfilment centre) near Tamworth. The remaining 24 vehicles will go into operation later in the year when Ocado’s dedicated natural gas refuelling facility is opened by Gasrec at its Hatfield CFC.

“We were immediately attracted to the Stralis NP when it was launched as it appeared to be the step change in technology that would drive gas powered trucks to a new place in the market. The demonstrator vehicle received positive feedback from our drivers, and our own experience driving the vehicle was also positive,” said Stuart Skingsley of Ocado.

“The green credentials of this vehicle are clear, and once we had reviewed the fuel costs against our existing diesel fleet it was clear there was also a cost benefit to running these cleaner, quieter vehicles,” he added.

Ocado will also benefit from the full repair and maintenance package with Guest Truck and Van throughout the five-year lease period, which will see all servicing work take place within the IVECO network.

The IVECO Stralis NP is powered by a Cursor 9 Euro VI natural gas engine that doesn’t require any diesel or petrol-derived fuel and benefits from a maintenance-free and AdBlue-free after-treatment system. It delivers the same output of 400 hp and 1,700 Nm torque as its diesel equivalent, resulting in an excellent power-to-weight ratio, power density and quietness of operation – perfect for Ocado’s operation, where artics typically operate at gross vehicle weights up to 38 tonnes.

Moreover, each vehicle emits 50% less NOx emissions, 95% less particulate matter and 95% less CO2 when using compressed biomethane. The fuel also offers the opportunity for Ocado to reduce its running costs thanks to natural gas being around 30% cheaper than diesel.