August 13, 2020. The logistics company Universal Transport recently added the first compressed natural gas (CNG) truck to its fleet in Germany. In the future, it will be used for a customer in the aviation industry and will carry oversized cargo three to six times a week between different customer locations.

“The CNG propellant is a low-emission alternative and already available to conventional diesel engines. CO2 emissions, but also the emission of nitrogen, fine dust and particles are significantly reduced. Also, the truck is much quieter. So we decided to test this powertrain,” says Karsten Hillebrand, Managing Director of Universal Transport in Hirschaid, near Bamberg.

The goal is to make logistics more sustainable and environmentally friendly in the long term by using innovative engines and fuels, adds Holger Dechant, Managing Director of Universal Transport Group: “If the CNG truck proves its effectiveness in practical use, it is conceivable that our fleet could be strengthened with additional gas-powered vehicles. Factors such as future application area and the density of available service stations must also be taken into account, because the routing of orders is fixed and not variable in heavy and large-scale traffic. The reliability of the vehicles and therefore our services must be guaranteed at all times”.

The CNG truck from the manufacturer Iveco has 460 hp and, according to the manufacturer, a range of 500 to 600 kilometers. Four tanks with a total volume of 920 liters, corresponding to 160 kilograms in volume, are installed on each side of the vehicle. The cab is designed to be comfortable for the driver. The unit also features a full package of driver assistance systems, including turn assist. This reduces the risk of accidents when turning right and is part of the standard equipment of new vehicles at Universal Transport. In addition to the first CNG truck, Universal Transport Group has already integrated several electric cars into the company’s fleet.