Tesco.com is set to take delivery of 795 Iveco light commercials which will be spread across more than 300 sites throughout the UK to help it make some 70,000 home deliveries each day.
The order includes 770 Daily 35S11 AGiles, incorporating Iveco’s six-speed automated transmission, making it one of the largest operators of the model in Europe.
The vehicles offer a choice between completely automatic or manual sequential gear selection using a lever on the dashboard, making stop-start driving in a busy urban environment more easy.
Dino Papas, Tesco.com fleet transport manager, said: “We opted for the AGile transmissions as Iveco’s trial data shows that it reduces wear and tear on the driveline in urban applications, where the mainstay of our fleet operates. It’s also proven to optimise fuel economy, which supports our environmental goals, and will allow our drivers to place maximum attention on the road ahead.”
Additionally, Tesco.com will be trialling 25 natural gas-powered EcoDailys, which run on compressed biomethane (CBM).
“The scale of the CBM trial will allow us to assess the performance of the natural gas vehicles comprehensively,” said Papas. “It represents one of the most important trials we have ever run, and if it proves successful, it could have a major impact on our future transport strategy.”
The combined order represents significant investment in British industry, with the bodywork being manufactured by Lancashire-based Solomon, the refrigeration units supplied by Suffolk-based Hubbard and GAH, together with telematics from Microlise in Nottingham.
Plus, the natural gas vehicles will run on CBM produced by Warwick-based Gasrec, through a process of cleaning and upgrading waste gas streams from a landfill site in Surrey.
Gasrec produces the CBM by recovering the latent energy stored in material discarded by society on a landfill site, meaning the fuel is not depleting fossil resources. In comparison with diesel, it reduces particulate matter by 90 per cent, nitrous oxide by 60 per cent and sulphur dioxide by 50 per cent, while noise from an engine running on CBM is reduced by around 30 per cent.