January 7, 2020. UK Sittingbourne-based Nicholls Transport says the environmental and business case for running heavy trucks on natural gas means now is the right time to start the transition away from diesel. Together with Gasrec, the firm has opened a refueling station for pumping liquefied natural gas (LNG) from its Kent base, which will be used to support an initial order for 10 Stralis NP 460 6×2 tractor units from local dealer Haynes Trucks.

Nicholls follows a steady line of major own-account and 3PL fleets in embracing a cleaner and lower cost fuel. Its LNG refueling station is the first of its kind in Kent and is perfectly situated for freight traffic bound for the continent, being less than five miles from Junction 5 of the M2 – with Nicholls making the site available to third parties by arrangement.

The company’s investment in Iveco’s LNG vehicles is the latest in a long line of innovative ventures for Nicholls and represents the most significant change in course in its 50-year history.

Paul Nicholls, Managing Director of Nicholls Transport, says: “Moving to alternative fuels has been high on our agenda – but gas is currently the only technology that’s ready for 44-tonne operation. Gasrec has been hugely proactive and gave us the confidence to switch fuels, following experiences with demonstrators organized through Iveco and Haynes.”

Commenting on the benefits of LNG, he adds: “Moving to natural gas shows how much we care about our planet. It’s our collective responsibility as an industry to do something to tackle climate change and make road transport more sustainable, and by opening this LNG station and investing in the Stralis NP fleet, we’re showing our customers and competitors that’s possible to do today. We very much hope other local businesses in North Kent share our vision for a sustainable future and buy in to LNG in the same way. As an industry, we really need to make this happen.”