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DHL pilots natural gas vehicles in sustainability push

DHL is testing the use of vehicles powered by liquefied natural gas in a bid to cut emissions.

The company will run a truck as a daily shuttle between DHL’s logistics centre and a BMW production plant in southern Germany.

The trial will run for a year, following previous use of the trucks in Belgium since summer 2018.

Uwe Brinks, CEO of DHL Freight, said: “The combination of LNG truck and mega trailer is a promising sustainable solution for automotive logistics. We are able to meet the customer’s transport requirements in the best possible way, while also significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions along the supply chain.

“The increase in fuel efficiency and proven reduction of harmful emissions that comes with using natural gas help to make long-distance road transport more sustainable.”

In 2018 UPS announced a $130 million investment into the technology in the US. The company is to build an additional five compressed natural gas fuelling stations and add more than 700 new CNG vehicles including 400 semi-tractors and 330 terminal trucks to its fleet.

In January, Ocado announced it had invested £3 million to begin moving its fleet onto the fuel in an effort to cut its emissions. The online grocer installed a natural gas refuelling station at its Hatfield Customer Fulfilment Centre. In addition, 29 vehicles of its HGV fleet or 20% of the total will now run on blended biomethane, a form of compressed natural gas, rather than diesel.

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