When it comes to our fleet, we have been working on carbon-saving initiatives for some time, ensuring we continue to modernise our plant fleet, take advantage of advancing hybrid technologies and explore alternative technologies as they develop. Through thorough market assessment, we are adding only the best in market kit to maximise our CO2 carbon savings, with the latest Tier 5 and Euro 6 engines available.
Over the past few years, we have reduced our plant’s carbon footprint, initially with ultra-low emissions excavators and more recently with hybrid machines, such as the hybrid Kobelco 210 Hybrid Excavators.
We currently have 200 modern Kobelco excavators on fleets with 40 or so examples of the new SK210-10E. This model features an ultra-low emissions diesel engine connected to an electric motor/generator, allowing the battery to be charged during low-load parts of the digging or loading cycle.
FUEL ACTIVE SYSTEM
Transitioning to an entire fleet of hybrid kit will be an incremental process due to the monumental size of our fleet. In the interim, we have added a system called Fuel Active into the existing plant fleet fuel tanks.
The Fuel Active System is a floating suction system that takes the diesel from the top of the tank instead of the bottom. This component prevents dirt and water from being sucked into the fuel system and means the engine doesn’t have to work as hard.
By fitting these to every machine, the fuel usage saving is approx. 1-2 litres an hour, not a great deal but for over 200+ machines the CO2 output of our machinery has been dramatically reduced.
HYDROTREATED VEGETABLE OIL
We are undergoing trials and discussions around costs and supply to hopefully make HVO fuel a viable long-term fuel strategy. As well as fueling our plant, HVO would be ideal for our HGV fleet, which are all under two years old and has the latest Stage 5 compliant engines, the cleanest on the market, and can accept HVO fuel without any conversion.
If we can get a workable solution, HVO fuel could enable us to quickly ramp up the already significant H2O savings our fleet is producing.
Due to the demand for our high-power heavy plant equipment, a complete electric solution isn’t practical. The excessive weight and cost of the battery, along with the long charging times and the need to have charging facilities in the remotest of infrastructure locations, just isn’t achievable right now.
Hydrogen motors use similar technology to existing propulsion systems. As a result, they are robust, cost-effective and can be integrated into all forms of heavy plant by simply replacing the existing diesel engine with hydrogen powertrains.
We are currently exploring this solution and the benefits of incorporating Hydrogen Powertrains into our fleet.