A UK low carbon technology research centre has added a truck performance simulation to its arsenal to help fleets evaluate cost and carbon emission savings from gas-fuelled trucks.

Cenex developed the software to help fleets operators compare diesel trucks to dual fuel (gas and diesel) trucks as part of a three-year R&D project part funded by Innovate UK, as part of the UK's Low Carbon Truck trials.

As Steve Carroll, senior technical specialist at Cenex, said, 'The real benefit is that we can assess gas vehicle performance before the onset of costly trials or purchases.

'The truck model allows us to show the cost and carbon benefits of operating gas trucks in a bespoke fleet environment. We record GPS data from fleet vehicles and run this through our model, which allows us to estimate the total cost and emission savings, not only for the fleet but also on a per route basis.'

Cenex evaluated the performance of 40 natural gas-fuelled trucks for a major UK distributor and led the testing and validation work package which reported on truck performance during the trial including economics, fuel consumption, carbon emissions, noise performance, air quality performance and driver perceptions and attitudes towards gas vehicles and refuelling stations.

Chris Walsh, head of technical support at Cenex, said: 'Working on the deployment and evaluation of the gas trucks has given Cenex valuable understanding of vehicle performance in real-world scenarios and allowed us to develop the tools necessary to support the economic roll-out of gas vehicles into heavy duty fleets.'