Castorama goes CNG in Paris
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Over more than 15 years of cooperation with Renault PVI has produced and delivered approx. 700 CNG-powered chassis cab setups.
PVI has been cooperating with Renault Trucks in terms of building vehicles using alternative fuels or other "green” propulsion technologies. The company produces and markets gas- and electric-powered versions of Renault Trucks' chassis cabs. The trucks for Castorama have been built by PVI as well. They are based on Renault Midlum chassis, equipped with CNG-powered engines and tanks and feature board truck bodies. The vehicles are used for daily delivery duties.
The idea of involving CNG-powered trucks in deliveries for Castorama stems right from the policy and philosophy of the network's owner, Kingfisher. In 2013 Castorama's transports chief, Philippe Duhamel asked companies providing transport services to the network's Paris stores to use more environmentally friendly modes of transport.
The recently introduced limitations in terms of diesel-powered vehicles entering the centre of Paris will most probably be made even more stringent over time, and so shifting from conventional fuels to greener resources and technologies seems like a necessity for transport service providers. The CNG-powered PVI trucks serving Castorama are operated by ID Logistics and even though they're more expensive to purchase than diesel-powered counterparts (by approx. 47%), in the long run it pays off as running costs are by approx. 18% lower.
PVI's trucks are powered by 230 PS CNG engines. Not only do the units provided significantly reduced emissions, but also they're very quiet (they have been built to comply with PIEK requirements, developed in the Netherlands) – noise emission during acceleration cannot exceed the level of 72 dB. The vehicles have been adapted to meet Castorama's requirements in terms of ease of loading and unloading during the delivery process – the loading threshold is lower, the trucks are easier to manouver and tackle hills with little effort. The only major drawback is the vehicles' range – in practice approx. 150 km. Given that urban mode of driving prevails, this isn't as much of a disadvantage as it would seem – for city driving it's just enough.
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