DB Schenker extends vehicle fleet with environmentally friendly vehicles

DB Schenker extends vehicle fleet with environmentally friendly vehicles :Vehicles powered by compressed natural gas have proven successful to the DB Schenker Logistics in the Czech Republic. Therefore it plans to invest in the purchase of more vehicles with that type of power next year.

The DB Schenker Logistics headquarters close to Prague have its own CNG filling station already, to serve to company cars and trucks as well as to other partners.

DB Schenker Logistics has been aiming at reducing CO2 emissions in the long term. It has committed itself to reduce emissions by 20 percent before 2020, as compared to 2006. DB Schenker in the Czech Republic, with the central warehouse and headquarters in Rudná u Prahy, has actively committed to the company’s Climate protection program 2020 too. On October 27, the headquarters opened the CNG filling station allowing the filling of cars, vans and trucks with compressed natural gas.

“DB Schenker in Sweden uses trucks powered by frozen biogas; in Austria, it uses vehicles powered by natural gas or hydrogen. In our country, we want to focus mainly on CNG; last autumn, we put into operation our first van powered by compressed gas, and this year we have bought several passenger cars,” says Tomáš Holomoucký, Managing Director of DB Schenker Czech Republic.

The van with a distinct green leaf graphic and the DB Schenker logo, with environmentally friendly operation, currently performs its trial run on our roads. The existing practice has mainly shown significant advantages. The CO2 emissions are 30 % lower and the NOx emissions even 60 % lower; the combustion does not release any carcinogenic substances either. Economic contribution is important as well. The operation costs are 30 % lower; additionally, a CNG vehicle does not pay the road tax, and the government-guaranteed reduced consumption tax applies until 2020. On the other hand, a drawback consists in a shorter range, as well as in the fact that some underground garage owners forbid the entry of CNG powered vehicles, although it is completely groundless.

The company will continue its investments primarily for Prague and Central Bohemia, and gradually, as soon as suitable trucks are on the market, also for other regions. “We are now evaluating the existing experience in detail; but it is sure already that CNG vans and bigger distribution vehicles will be added to our vehicle fleet in a short time. For the next year, we are speaking about some 20 trucks. The renewal of our passenger car fleet is faster. For the moment, we have eight CNG powered cars, and the numbers rise every month,” adds Tomáš Holomoucký. DB Schenker is planning to pass gradually to CNG in all its passenger cars.

That strategy is supported also by the opening of its own filling station. The expected yearly volume of CNG, consumed by the whole CNG vehicle fleet of DB Schenker, could be about 210,000 m3 in the future. DB Schenker uses 160 distribution vehicles in the Czech Republic, most of them with a relatively high loading capacity. Their gradual replacement by CNG vehicles is planned. The motive to start only in 2016 consists in the fact that there is lack of CNG vehicles with weights of 12 to 16 tons in the European market at the moment.

Unlike the traditional fuels or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), compressed natural gas (CNG) is characterized by higher safety, resulting from the fact that the gas easily disperses in the air can be easily ventilated, and therefore the CNG powered vehicles can enter even underground garages. Other advantages consist in the impossibility of fuel theft, the high octane number (up to 130), cheap operation (1 kg for 25 CZK) and, above all, minimal environment contamination. CNG combustion produces only a very low amount of CO2 and almost no toxic products. Therefore the motors comply not only with the present emission standards, but also with stricter emission standards to be expected in the future. Important is also the fact that the present purchase price of a CNG vehicle is comparable to the price of a diesel car.

The protection of the environment is a crucial topic to big transport companies, and the example of DB Schenker shows that long lasting efforts for sustainable business development can be connected with the responsible approach to the environment.

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