Asda has said it anticipates saving a million litres of diesel a year from 50 new dual-fuel trucks it began taking delivery of last week.

Around 20 Volvo methane-diesel FMs have been delivered to the firm’s new Avonmouth, Bristol DC, with the remainder due before the end of the year. The mix of 4x2 and 6x2 units will be served by a new LNG refuelling facility from BOC due to start operating in mid-January.

Asda Logistics Services (ALS) head of central transport Chris Hall told the new trucks, taken on after a number of small-scale trials of CNG and LNG in the last two years, were “much more expensive” than standard diesel units and described the overall investment in the new fleet as “pretty significant”.

The trucks will play a major part alongside Asda’s 45 longer semi-trailers in efforts to cut emissions, however.

“Alternative fuels are an important part of our green agenda. When we take our longer trailer trials into account together with the Volvo dual-fuel trucks, we will be able to increase the volume of goods trunked while at the same time reducing vehicle miles and cutting emissions by 15% over five years,” he said.

The trucks will be carefully assessed prior to a major fleet replacement decision next year, said Hall.  “We’ll be looking to replace approximately 200 vehicles at the back end of next year, and May or June is a key time for us in making those decisions,” he confirmed.

Asda’s eventual decision will depend not just on how the new trucks perform but also on the availability in coming months of Euro-6 compliant dual-fuel options, however. “There isn’t necessarily a dual-fuel vehicle we could buy today that is Euro-6 compliant,” he said. “It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that we will be extremely happy with this and want to buy more, but are not able to.”