“As part of our overall social responsibility, we have traditionally devoted great attention to developing environmentally friendly logistics solutions,” said Michael Oeljeklaus, ŠKODA Board Member for Production and Logistics. “With the CNG-powered lorries, ŠKODA is making a further contribution to a sustainable company,” added Oeljeklaus.
Following a two-month trial period, four lorries with CNG drive are now being used in daily operations at the ŠKODA headquarters in Mladá Boleslav. Another of these environmentally friendly lorries has been used for transport to and from Stráž nad Nisou. It completes the 120-km journey twelve times per week and saves 16 tonnes of CO2 per year compared to a vehicle with a diesel engine.
The CNG lorries impress with considerably lower emissions than vehicles with a conventional engine and scored points during the trial period with a 30-per-cent reduction in fuel costs. Nitric oxide (NOx) emissions are 80 to 90 per cent lower, while carbon monoxide emissions (CO) are reduced by a total of 90 per cent. With an average fuel consumption of less than 50 kg of CNG per 100 km, emissions of particulates are reduced by up to 95 per cent, and CO2 emissions by 25 per cent.
The ‘Gigaliners’ that ŠKODA will be using on selected routes for transporting goods to and from suppliers from now on are another step forward in terms of environmental protection. The lorries, which are up to 25 m long, transport a volume of goods totalling 150 m3 per trip – 50 per cent more than a conventional lorry. ŠKODA thereby reduces the number of weekly trips along the 292-km route between Mladá Boleslav and Rokycany from 53 to 35 – this equates to 250,000 fewer kilometres per year and reductions in CO2 emissions of around 200 tonnes. Lower transport costs are another benefit.
For production logistics, ŠKODA is increasingly using zero-emission, battery-powered transporters on-site at the main plant in Mladá Boleslav. Hence as part of a pilot project, an electric tractor with two trailers was also fitted with solar panels. The photovoltaic modules charge the lithium-ion batteries while the vehicle is in motion. The battery-powered tractors cover around 70 km every day. By using solar power, ŠKODA expects an annual energy saving of around 10 per cent. If the trial period is a success, ŠKODA will equip more vehicles with photovoltaic technology. Alongside these tractors, another 18 battery-powered logistics tractors are in use at ŠKODA’s plants.
The initiative for CNG and electric power within Logistics is another component of the various environmental activities which ŠKODA is promoting as part of its ‘GreenFuture’ strategy. It consists of several elements: ‘GreenProduct’ deals with the development of vehicles that are as environmentally friendly as possible – in terms of fuel requirement as well as materials and recycling capabilities. With ‘GreenRetail’, the brand is promoting eco-friendly operations in their dealerships and workshops. ‘GreenFactory’ brings together all activities that help to conserve resources during production. This element also includes the ‘GreenLogistics’ area of action for sustainable logistics solutions. For the near future, the manufacturer envisages that the majority of their suppliers based near the Bohemian plants will deliver their components to the assembly lines exclusively using lorries powered using alternative resources.