Thursday 22 July 2010

Van Centre supports Council gas-powered trial

A Volkswagen van centre is supporting Sheffield City Council’s bid to reduce its carbon footprint.

Gilder Van Centre has supplied seven EcoFuel Volkswagen Caddy’s, which run on gas made from food waste.

The vehicles are part of a six month trial with Sheffield City Council to establish the practicalities of operating a low carbon, low emission fleet as an alternative to petrol or diesel.

The Caddy’s engines are designed to run on compressed natural gas, biomethane, provided by Chesterfield BioGas. A refuelling facility has been installed at the Councils depot where the biomethane is stored in cylinders and delivered to the vehicles through a fast fill dispenser system.

David May, head of business at Gilder Van Centre, said: “This is a very exciting project and provides an ideal opportunity to highlight the benefits of the EcoFuel Caddy to consumers.

“There’s nothing unusual about running on biomethane in the rest of Europe. In fact, Volkswagen sold 7,500 EcoFuel Caddy’s in 2008. But the technology is just gaining traction here, not least because there are biogas suppliers guaranteeing to fix prices 10 per cent below diesel for years ahead." said David.

After the trial, the Volkswagen Caddy’s performance will be evaluated to assess the environmental benefits and cost savings achieved compared to equivalent sized diesel vans the City Council has been using up until now.

Sheffield City Council project manager, Sarah Rani, said: “The size of the gas-powered Caddy’s comfortably met our fleet requirements and were one of the only vehicles available on the market suitable for this project.

“Our is aim to improve air quality, tackle climate change and reduce emissions from Sheffield City Council’s fleet operations and services. We believe it is our responsibility to lead by example and demonstrate best practice and to encourage the use of cleaner vehicles in Sheffield.”

The project is being run in partnership with Volkswagen, Chesterfield Bio gas, Mercedes and is jointly funded by the Area Based Grant and the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Grant.

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