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AO launches natural gas-operated trial for trunking fleet

AO has launched the first of its trunking fleet to operate on natural gas.

The online electricals retailer has signed a five-year, full-service contract hire agreement with Fraikin for 10 new CNG-powered tractor units. It comes as the retailer looks to reduce its carbon footprint and improve sustainability across its commercial vehicle fleet.

The new Iveco S-Way NP 4×2 tractor units operate on compressed biomethane and replace older, diesel-powered trucks. They have been supplied in AO’s green vinyl livery and with both single double deck trailers, the new vehicles will carry large appliances between the company’s depots in Crewe and North London, clocking up around 125,000 miles per year.

Over the last two years, AO has increased its warehousing capacity by over 80% to 1.5 million sq ft and rapidly grown its distribution network to over 25 depots across the UK.

In total, AO currently operates more than 1,000 commercial vehicles, including 3.5-tonne ultra-light weight home delivery vans supplied on contract hire by Fraikin.

David Ashwell, managing director of AO Logistics, said: “At AO Logistics, we are always looking at ways to improve our operation in terms of both sustainability and fuel efficiency – trialling these new IVECO tractor units is a fantastic step towards reducing our impact on the environment.”

Mark Guilfoyle, business development manager at Fraikin, said: “Having already supplied 63 tractor units into the fleet since the companies began working together in 2017, Fraikin has built up a solid understanding of AO’s business and are acutely aware of what is required from the vehicles it operates, as well as its wider environmental aims.”

If the new trucks prove to be a success, the company will look to replace more diesel-powered assets.

Image credits:
  • AO