John Lewis and Air Liquide build biogas plant to fuel trucks


John Lewis is building a biogas plant to help decarbonise its distribution fleet of trucks. The Waitrose owner plans to switch its 4,800-strong fleet to low carbon fuels by 2030.

By December 2020, French gas giant Air Liquide will have completed a biomethane plant at the partnership’s Bracknell headquarters.

John Lewis’ first on-site green fuel station, it has capacity to serve 120 methane-fuelled heavy trucks, part of 143 the partnership now has on order.

Running HGVS on biomethane made from organic waste will cut each vehicle’s CO2 emissions by 80 per cent, the partners calculate, with each clean gas lorry saving some 100 tonnes of CO2 every year.

Off-site methane refuelling stations already serve nearby John Lewis depots in Northampton and Leyland, Lancashire.

John Lewis Partnership, owned by its staff, signalled in March 2019 its switch to 100 per cent carbon-free haulage by the end of this decade. Some 85 diesel HGVs have already been offloaded.

Eliminating diesel and petrol from John Lewis‘ van and car fleet will see 1,750 electric vans and light trucks introduced this decade. Approximately 750 refrigerated trailers will be converted from diesel to electric.

The partnership’s 1,300 strong car fleet will become all-electric. Any diesel vehicles unsuited for conversions will use biodiesel in the form of hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO).

Justin Laney, transport manager for John Lewis Partnership, said: ”It’s important we act now, using available technology, rather than wait for unproven solutions to appear”.

By 2028 all refrigerators and chill cabinets in the firm’s depots will be converted away from hydrofluoro-carbons ( HFCs).


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