Truck manufacturer Scania is predicting a surge in demand for its CNG-powered lorries in 2017, partly triggered by a predicted increase in diesel prices.
Scania GB UK truck sales director Andrew Jamieson said: “As diesel prices increase, so the payback time for gas-powered trucks reduces. It’s inevitable that more people are starting to think about gas.”
One company set to increase its Scania gas fleet is the John Lewis Partnership, which earlier this year put a pair of 4×2 P340 tractor units into its Waitrose distribution operation.
Jamieson confirmed that the retailer has another 10 units on order, and is expected to be running 100 within the next two years.
Although Scania is yet to offer a gas-powered version of its Next Generation trucks, this week it announced significant improvements to the current offering.
Most significant of these is the introduction of its latest Opticruise two-pedal automated manual transmission, which replaces the full-automatic Allison gearbox.
This improvement is made possible by the ability of the layshaft brake on the latest Opticruise transmission to manage the revs of the spark ignition engine during shifts.
The capacity of the CNG tank is increasing in size too, which will boost the truck’s range from 350 miles to more than 500 miles.
Earlier this week, CNG Fuels said it was seeing a trend for operators moving towards dedicated gas-powered trucks over dual-fuel units.
By Will Shiers