Cadent is to explore the possibility of using CNG-powered vehicles on its fleet as part of a deal with Iveco which has seen the manufacturer deliver a first batch of 255 Daily diesel vans.
The company, which manages and maintains the UK's largest gas supply network, will take delivery of a second batch of the vans during 2018/19.
The arrivals, supplied by West Bromwich-based dealer Guest Truck & Van, mark a two-year commitment between Iveco and Cadent with an option to extend for a further two years.
The vans are being kitted out with Bri-Stor Systems internal racking and will be self-sufficient mobile workshops with split drive 110v onboard electric and air compressor supply thanks to Winton and Gardner Denver.
Dominic Stephens, Cadent fleet officer, construction and procurement, said: “Our network serves millions of properties and these vehicles will be used mainly to respond to gas leaks.
"We needed these vans to meet our specific payload and operational requirements and IVECO’s well-established partnership with the onboard system suppliers gave us great confidence.”
The vans will be used across Cadent’s four regions in the North West, West Midlands, East of England and North London.
They will provide 24-hour, 365 day-a-year support and emergency backup to maintain its gas distribution network.
The vehicles will each travel around 15,000 miles every year plus around 500 additional hours of engine run time, with the on-board Power Take Off (PTO) being used to drive many of the on-board systems in the cargo area.
All vans have also been fitted with reversing cameras to maximise safety, air conditioning for driver comfort, plus a single passenger seat in place of the standard dual bench seat, to maximise free space in the cab and reduce unladen weight.
This is the first time Iveco has supplied vans to Cadent and they will be replacing older vehicles of similar size and driveline configuration. The vans will remain in service for five years.