Choosing natural gas
Today, the true alternative to diesel is natural gas. It allows for a 70% reduction in nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, and an almost 100% reduction in particulate emissions. A major factor blocking the development of this alternative energy is the low-density network of gas distribution stations across France and elsewhere in Europe.
Despite the slow start to the development of this distribution network, GEODIS has been using natural gas in all European countries where it operates a fleet. “This involves integrating natural gas-fueled vehicles in transport plans and therefore reducing our environmental impact," explains de Carné.
In Spain, for example, GEODIS has just revamped its transport plan to meet the environmental requirements of one of its clients. By offering its customers liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicles, the group is paving the way for other similar initiatives in the transport sector. With over 400 hp and a 1,500-km battery range, 12 trucks now make regular trips between Madrid and Barcelona. The purchase and maintenance costs of these vehicles are certainly high, but they are offset by the price of liquefied natural gas, which is cheaper than diesel. The investment is recouped in 5 years.
“We have been investing in natural gas for several years,” states de Carné. “Our current strategy is to support our customers while taking into account the geographical perimeter that needs to be covered. Our intermediary position between the manufacturer and the shipper allows us to provide an adapted service that meets our customers’ expectations while reducing our environmental impact.”