Although we have been a pioneer in the roll out of electric vehicles in our light commercial fleet, we know that one of the biggest challenges that we are facing is how to decarbonise our heavy goods vehicles (HGV) fleet, which produces over 8,000 tonnes of carbon annually. We are keen to act early and to anticipate new arrivals in fuel innovation which is why we are improving our understanding and knowledge so that we can make informed decisions when the technologies become available. As an interim solution, and following the success of our hydro-treated vegetable oil (HVO) trial as a fuel for 5 HGVs in Galway in 2021, we expanded the initiative in 2022 to 12 HGVs in Cork. HVO is a renewable fuel made from certified waste oils and fats and has showed excellent results with no performance difficulties. Since the HVO trials in Galway and Cork we have found:
• HVO uses 0.5 litres of fuel less per 100 km on average than its diesel equivalent
• There has been a 91.8% reduction in carbon emissions in the trial fleet, compared to diesel fuel.
We know the value of collaboration when it comes to sustainability challenges and through working closely with organisations such as Hydrogen Ireland, EV100, Post Europ’s Green Mobility Forum, and as chair of ALICE, we are at the forefront of alternative fuel innovation and development. Through these collaborations, we are sharing knowledge and creating a network of communication between supply, demand and facilitators. This will enable us to progress further on our journey to net zero, whilst also supporting other organisations along the way. In 2022 we took part in industry events and discussions on how to progress manufacturing availability and infrastructure developments, to understand what the realistic options are for zero emission vehicles and decipher what the market choice is for sustainable HGVs. We undertook a survey of the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to understand the journey they are on and the results clearly indicated that electric vehicles are still the solution for our “final mile” fleet and that these vehicles are in various stages of production. The results for the “middle mile” fleet (HGVs) were however not as clear and we will continue to monitor developments.