Shell has revealed details of its pilot fuel initiative in partnership with Hoyer, which aims to decarbonise its UK supply chain.

The pilot programme, which began in May and will run for six month, marks the first application of the fuel in heavy-duty vehicles for Shell globally.

It sees Shell switch part of its UK fuel delivery fleet, operated by Hoyer, to the new Gd45 powered by Shell GTL Fuel as a drop-in alternative to diesel.

After analysing the outcomes, Shell aims to expand the initiative – working to deliver Gd45 powered by Shell GTL fuel at even greater scale across its UK supply operations and to its commercial road transport customers.

The new fuel was co-developed by Shell and Green Biofuels, a provider of HVO. Formulated using 45% HVO Gd+ and Shell GTL fuel, a diesel alternative derived from natural gas, offering a cleaner burn than crude oil-based diesel, Gd45 powered by Shell GTL fuel offers a partly renewable alternative to conventional diesel, allowing fleets to experience potential CO2e emission reductions of over a third (40%).

Shell explained that with the UK transport sector accounting for 32% of territorial CO2e emissions last year, and emission regulations becoming increasingly stringent, immediate solutions will play a critical role in driving emissions reduction.

Offering a straightforward drop-in alternative to diesel, Gd45 can help achieve this reduction, it said, without compromising vehicle performance and helping heavy-duty fleets to meet their business and sustainability targets.

Shell distribution operations manager Steve Brown said: “Balancing demand and the need for more sustainable operations is a key challenge for businesses across the industry. With this pilot programme, we hope to demonstrate that switching to lower-carbon fuel alternatives doesn’t need to be a complex process and drop-in solutions are an effective way for fleets to progress their environmental goals.

“With Gd45 powered by Shell GTL Fuel, we see a future fuel that can drive down emissions across the sector. We are pleased to be working closely with our partner Hoyer in the UK to lead the way in commercial road transport decarbonisation by not only offering innovative solutions for our customers, but also by using them to decrease our own carbon footprint."

Added Hoyer business unit director Allan Davison: “Our pilot with Shell is already yielding positive results and we are proud to be leading the way in this area. The drop-in nature of Gd45 makes it an especially attractive option for emissions reduction, helping fleets to decarbonise without having to carry out an expensive conversion process. We look forward to expanding our efforts to improve our environmental impact through initiatives like this and establishing new routes forward for the UK commercial road transport industry.”