An event organised in Europe has seen a new writer for Diesel on a record breaking run. Will Shiers from the UK will be taking over from regular European Correspondent, Brian Weatherley, in Diesel Magazine and Diesel News in 2019. Will drove an Iveco Stralis NP 460hp truck from the UK all the way to Madrid in Spain on one tank of LNG.
This journey is believed to be the longest ever journey by road on a single fill of LNG. It was staged by Iveco to demonstrate the suitability of natural gas-powered vehicles for domestic and European road transport.
Setting off from London, the Stralis NP 4×2 prime mover was pulling a tri-axle pantech trailer, running at a GCM of 30 tonnes. After a short ferry crossing from Dover to Calais it completed the 1,728km road journey without needing to refuel, exceeding the vehicle’s official range of 1,600km to set a new distance record. This equates to LNG fuel cost saving of circa $364 for the outward journey, or 40 per cent, vs diesel fuel.
“I saw a sign informing me that I was 100km from the Spanish capital, and at almost exactly the same time the fuel warning light illuminated,” says Will. “There are a lot of hills in this part of the world, and each of the long drags sent my blood pressure a little higher. The fuel gauge was flatlining.”
Prior to the trip, Iveco carefully planned the journey using MyBestRoute: a web-based application developed by Michelin for Stralis NP customers. It allows drivers and fleet managers to select the optimum route for any European journey, including plotting LNG refuelling stations and estimating the total cost of the trip for diesel and natural gas-powered trucks.
Iveco was using the journey to demonstrate that natural gas, including CNG, LNG and biomethane, are all viable, realistic, safe and cost-effective alternatives to diesel, available from a growing network of fuel providers in the UK and across the continent.
“Last year we completed John O’Groats to Land’s End on a single fill in a 400hp Stralis NP, but this time we wanted to set the bar even higher,” said Martin Flach, Alternative Fuels Director of Iveco. “It was a chance to demonstrate how fuel-efficient the Stralis NP is, and to put our latest 460hp gas powered engine to ultimate the test.
“We brimmed the tank before we left London, and the first time we stopped for fuel was in Madrid two and a half days later. Running on 100 per cent natural power means there’s no diesel or AdBlue to worry about, making it the simplest solution for both the fleet manager and the driver.”
Despite the heavy traffic on the UK side of the English Channel, a strong head wind in France and the hilly Spanish section of the route, the Stralis NP recorded an impressive average fuel consumption of 22.6 kg per 100 km.
Compared with an equivalent Euro 6 diesel, a Stralis NP running on LNG emits around 90 per cent less NOX, 99 per cent less particulate matter, and up to 15 per cent less CO2, rising to 95 per cent less CO2 when using biomethane.