In 2009, a Green Fleet Review by the Energy Savings Trust identified that, while RCVs accounted for just 7% of the Council fleet, they consumed 25% of its fuel-making a disproportionate contribution to pollution and costs. Following this review, Leeds City Council, with independent assistance from Cenex, trialled the performance of gas RCV vehicles as a solution to reduce the fleet’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The vehicle trialled was a Mercedes-Benz Econic 2628LLG 26t chassis in a 4×2 configuration with a steering rear axle. Gas is stored in banks of 4×80 litre tanks, one on each side of the vehicle, giving 640 litres of gas at 200 bar. The vehicle has a Faun Variopress body, and a Terberg Omnidel bin lift.
The trial was successful in demonstrating that the vehicle could perform the duties required reliably while saving money on fuel and showing up to a 64% well-to-wheel CO2 emission saving if a gas station dispensing biomethane were installed. Following the trial, the Council invested in a permanent station, with the help of the Infrastructure Grant Programme. This station, installed in 2011, has a 3.5t storage capacity for liquefied gas, with a cryogenic pump feeding a 300kg pressure storage buffer for dispensing gas. Currently, the Leeds City Council fleet is operating the station at full capacity and therefore, it is not available to 3rd parties.
Richard Crowther, Transport Policy Officer, has been a key organiser in bringing the gas vehicles to Leeds. “In common with many councils, our air quality responsibilities were the main reason for pursuing gas, to begin with. But it was the carbon savings that enabled us to get funding for our gas station.”
Leeds City Council is currently operating 12 gas vehicles and planning on developing their fleet further to reduce GHG and air quality emissions.
Further information about the Leeds City Council Case Study can be found here.