Truck maker Iveco is claiming a new distance record on a single tank of LNG with a 460hp Stralis NP travelling from London to Madrid using just 390kgs of Liquified Natural Gas.

The company claims the truck completed what is believed to be the longest ever journey by road on a single fill of LNG, to demonstrate the suitability of natural gas-powered vehicles for domestic and European road transport.

The Stralis NP 4×2 prime mover pulled a tri-axle box van trailer with a gross vehicle weight of 30 tonnes and apart from a the short ferry crossing from Dover to Calais it travelled the 1,728km road journey without needing to refuel. This was despite battling heavy traffic on the UK side of the English Channel, a strong head wind in France and the hilly Spanish section of the route.

This meant the truck recorded an average fuel consumption of 22.6 kg of LNG per 100 km using.

The truck bettered its normal range of 1,600km to set the claimed new distance record notching up an estimated fuel cost saving of the equivalent of approximately $AUD364 or around 40 per cent less than the truck would have cost to run on the route using diesel.

Martin Flach, alternative fuels director of Iveco said that the company completed a run from John O’Groats to Land’s End on a single fill in a 400hp Stralis NP last year  but this time wanted to set the bar even higher.

“It was a chance to demonstrate how fuel-efficient the Stralis NP is, and to put our latest 460hp gaspowered engine to ultimate the test,” said Flach.

“We brimmed the tank before we left London and the first time we stopped for fuel was in Madrid two and a half days later,” he said.

“Running on 100 per cent natural power also means there’s no diesel or AdBlue to worry about, making it the simplest solution for both the fleet manager and the driver,” Flach added.

Prior to the trip, Iveco carefully planned the journey using MyBestRoute: a web-based application developed by Michelin for Stralis NP customers. It allows drivers and fleet managers to select the optimum route for any European journey, including plotting LNG refuelling stations and estimating the total cost of the trip for diesel and natural gas-powered trucks.

Iveco says it was using the journey to demonstrate that natural gas – including CNG, LNG and biomethane – are all viable, realistic, safe and cost-effective alternatives to diesel, available from a growing network of fuel providers in the UK and across the continent.

Compared with an equivalent Euro 6 diesel, a Stralis NP running on LNG emits around 90 per cent less NO2, 99 per cent less particulate matter, and up to 15 per cent less CO2 – rising to 95 per cent less CO2 when using biomethane.

It further underlines the ludicrous position in Australia where we are the world’s largest producer of LNG, but the local cost and availability is both prohibitive and virtually non existent.

In Europe, the Stralis NP is available as a 4×2 and 6×2 maximum weight prime mover, with power outputs of 400 or 460hp. Iveco also offers medium and heavy rigid trucks running on natural gas, together with a range of Daily Natural Power light commercial vehicles from 3.5 to 7.2 tonnes..

Iveco says it was the first commercial vehicle manufacturer to look at the potential of natural gas in 1991 – an anticipation that allowed the company to develop a full range of natural gas trucks, vans and buses. Currently, more than 25,000 Iveco gas-powered vehicles have been delivered into service.