Toll Group expands CNG fleet

Leading Australian transport and logistics provider, Toll Group, has heightened its credentials as an industry leader in environmental sustainability, placing another bulk order for Isuzu CNG (compressed natural gas) medium-duty trucks.

Added to the company’s earlier acquisitions, Toll IPEC’s recent order of 42 FSR 700 CNG units brings the total number of Isuzu CNG trucks in Toll’s fleet to more than 70. This represents the largest single CNG fleet purchase since the launch of Isuzu’s second generation CNG models in 2009.

CNG powered vehicles are claimed to deliver reductions in oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the order of 50 and 98 percent respectively, while emitting virtually zero particulate matter (PM) when compared to similarly sized conventional diesel trucks.

According to Rodney Johnston, Toll IPEC general manager, the CNG additions will help the company reach environmental goals while at the same time providing operational efficiencies.

“One of Toll Group’s key objectives is to look at ways to manage the environmental impacts within our facilities and operations, and act to reduce our rates of emissions, energy consumption and waste,” Johnston said.

Toll has been conducting extensive CNG trials since 2009, which have led to the most recent purchases.

The price of CNG is normally between 30 and 50 percent less than that of diesel and has the benefit of not being tied to international parity pricing. Additional benefits can be obtained by securing a fixed long term CNG price contract with the supplier which provides better balance sheet control and potentially lower running costs.

While public CNG refuelling infrastructure is still in its infancy in Australia, more sites are steadily opening, the most recent being a facility in the outer Melbourne suburb of Laverton which is capable of refuelling large CNG fleets.

Isuzu Australia Limited (IAL) national fleet sales manager, Dean Stuhldreier, said IAL had worked closely with Toll Group in recent years and was pleased to be assisting the company in efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.

“Toll Group is a company that recognised the potential of CNG as a transport fuel earlier than most,” Stuhldreier remarked. “It’s always a challenge bringing new technology to market, and to have interest from a well-regarded and high profile organisation such as Toll Group is very pleasing.”

The Isuzu CNG range comprises four models: NLR 200, NPR 300, FSR 700 and FSR 850 CNG – all factory-backed.