In a bid to prepare its commercial fleet to be in compliance with upcoming urban emissions initiatives, including the first ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) in London and the proposed Clean Air Zones nationwide, logistics provider Kuehne + Nagel is trialling two new Carrier Transicold engineless refrigeration systems on vehicles operating under a contract with Whitbread. Carrier Transicold, which operates in the UK as Carrier Transicold (UK) Limited, is a part of UTC Climate, Controls & Security, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).
Carrier Transicold’s PIEK-compliant multi-temperature ICELAND units are mounted to an 18-tonne low-entry Mercedes-Benz Econic and a 26-tonne DAF CF, both on contract from Petit Forestier. The units were selected for their ability to run entirely on hydro-electric power generated by the trucks’ ultra-clean Euro VI engines – removing the need for a separate diesel engine, which helps reduce environmental impact by cutting emissions and improving fuel efficiency, whilst also reducing maintenance costs.
Both units have been specified with R452A refrigerant, which has the same cooling capacity, fuel efficiency, reliability and refrigerant charge as R404A, but offers a 45 per cent reduction in Global Warming Potential.
“Within the lifetime of these vehicles, fleets in major cities are going to be facing stricter rules surrounding vehicle emissions,” said Andrew Blake, national distribution manager, Kuehne + Nagel. “After consulting with Petit Forestier, we felt it was the perfect time to put Carrier Transicold’s new engineless transport refrigeration technology to the test.”
Both vehicles are in daily operation in a busy urban environment, transporting a mix of ambient, chilled, and frozen produce to the Whitbread-owned Premier Inn chain.
The DAF CF is based in Wellingborough and delivers into Birmingham and Nottingham, both of which will include a Clean Air Zone by 2020. The Econic – which allows the driver to sit much lower than in a conventional distribution truck – operates in London, which will enforce the country’s first ULEZ, also by 2020.
“At Whitbread, we believe we have a responsibility to operate in a way that respects both people and planet, and cutting CO2 emissions from our supply chain is part of that,” said Brodie McMillan, logistics director, Whitbread. “If these units deliver the benefits we’re expecting, Kuehne + Nagel will be looking to introduce the same technology into our delivery fleet, reducing the environmental impact of our vehicles and helping to improve air quality.”
Originally established in 1742 as a brewery, today Whitbread is using its more than 250-year pedigree to become the UK’s largest hotel, restaurant and coffee shop operator, with 50,000 employees and millions of customers both in the UK and overseas.