Running A Trial
If you think gas vehicles might be right for your fleet, the next step is to organise a vehicle trial. It should be possible to borrow a demonstrator vehicle and potentially have a temporary refuelling station set up at your depot.
The following steps will help you set up and run a successful trial:
- Talk to vehicle manufacturers and fleets already operating gas vehicles at industry roadshows and workshops. If you’re not sure where to start, get in touch with LoCITY or Freight in the City.
- Use the Gas Vehicle Hub map to find your nearest refuelling station. If none are suitable, ask a supplier whether they can install a temporary refuelling supply. They can also quote for a longer term arrangement and help you decide which operating model is most suitable.
- Define what data you will collate and monitor. This should include fuel consumption, vehicle reliability and availability, performance, range, maintenance costs and practicality of refuelling. If your focus is on carbon reduction, plan how you will calculate CO2e from energy consumption.
- Arrange a vehicle loan from a manufacturer or fleet. You can find out which OEMs supply gas vehicles on our Supplier Page. Alternatively, contact Cenex via our website and we can introduce you to the right person at the manufacturer.
- Plan a low volume vehicle trial to start with. Deploy one or two vehicles and build up gradually from there.
- Collect the data listed above and compare it to an equivalent diesel vehicle on a like-for-like basis, i.e. similar duty cycles, drivers, payloads and operating conditions. The vehicle supplier can help you compare fuel costs for the gas vehicle – measured in kilograms per 100 kilometres – against the fuel consumption of your diesel vehicles.
- Collect driver feedback covering perceptions and attitudes towards the vehicles. This will help identify any training needs that may be required when you deploy gas vehicles in the fleet.
Depending on vehicle availability, it is worth running a trial of at least a month, to be sure that the vehicle is right for your operation and fully assess the benefits.
Assuming the trial has been a success you can move to a wider depot deployment. Work with the vehicle supplier to tailor the specification to your needs, such as specifying appropriate fuel tanks for your range requirements.
Visit Contact a Supplier to get in touch with vehicle manufacturers and infrastructure providers to find what they can offer.