Alternative Fuels for Refrigerated HGVs

Refrigerated transport is a crucial component of the cold chain, however, keeping perishable goods cold, either in a cold store or on refrigerated vehicles, leads to an excessive release of carbon emissions. As the population booms, the demand for food increases and the need for cooling equipment simultaneously increases. As we move closer to the target of Net Zero, we evaluate these energy-intensive industries and strive to make them green.

Alternative Fuel for Refrigerated HGVs

Due to their size and the power required, there has been difficulty implementing refrigerated electric HGVs into the cold chain. Larger refrigerated vehicles, such as a 44-tonne HGVs, use essentially two engines, one to power the vehicle itself, and the other, an auxiliary engine to power the refrigerated trailer. It is the auxiliary engine which emits significantly more CO2 emissions compared to the HGVs main engine.

For these large, power-hungry, cooling machines, going electric may not be the answer. It is essential to the supply chain that these vehicles travel 100s of miles per day, and unfortunately, currently, there is no electric solution that promises substantial mileage without severely disrupting supply chains. There are however various alternative fuels capturing the attention of the supply chain and logistics sectors, such as hydrogen.

Unlike, battery electric, using hydrogen fuel for the engine could provide a quick refuelling and sustainable alternative. However, the problem is that there is limited access to hydrogen fuelling stations in the UK and therefore, to make room for hydrogen fuel to thrive, we will need to transform infrastructure to make these alternative fuels accessible.

Creating Sustainable Supply Chains

At Magnavale, we strive to create simpler, shortened, and sustainable supply chains and therefore we are excited to see the transformation and rollout of alternatively fuelled vehicles such as hydrogen and electric-powered HGVs, and the involvement these green HGVs will have with our new cold store ran entirely on renewable energy based in Easton, Grantham as well as our three existing cold storage facilities in Chesterfield, Scunthorpe and Warrington.


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Magnavale Ltd, Park Road,
Holmewood Industrial Park,
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