John Lewis Partnership (JLP) has introduced two dedicated gas-fuelled Scania tractor units into its Waitrose distribution operation.

Based at the supermarket’s Leyland, Lancashire, RDC the trucks have an operational  range of 350 miles are providing daily return-to-base services to stores throughout northern England, the north Midlands and north Wales.

"As an organisation intent on minimising its carbon footprint, we have a keen desire to operate on sustainable fuels," said Simon Gray, John Lewis's vehicle engineering manager.  "While we already have considerable experience of dual-fuel vehicles, operating solely on gas takes our environmental performance to another level."

Key to the vehicle's introduction has been the opening of a new grid-connected, high-pressure gas refuelling station in Leyland by CNG Fuels, which is capable of refuelling up to 500 trucks a day.

The two Scania’s typically take around four minutes each to refuel (see video for demonstration of refuelling).

"The success of our gas-fuelled operation depends upon a reliable supply of gas and the Leyland installation now provides us with the local support we need," added Gray.

"We have plenty of operating experience with diesel Scanias, and early indications are that the gas-powered trucks are performing well.  Moreover, they are quiet to drive and our drivers, who are Partners in the business, are proud to drive vehicles with excellent environmental credentials."

He said the ultimate goal for JLP would be to displace as much diesel as possible with biomethane at Leyland.

The two Scania trucks supplied to Waitrose are P340 LA4x2MNA models plated at 31-tonnes gross train weight, equipped with a 9-litre, Euro-6 engine designed to operate soley on gas (compressed or liquefied). When operating on biogas, Scania said CO2 reductions of up to 90% can be achieved.