An Iveco Stralis NP (natural power) has completed the 850-mile journey from John O’Groats to Land’s End on a single fill of liquified natural gas (LNG).
The 4×2 tractor, which Iveco refers to as “Europe’s first long-haul gas-powered truck”, was equipped with the 8.7-litre Iveco Cursor 9 natural gas engine, matched to a Eurotronic 12-speed transmission. It delivers 400hp and 1,700Nm, and has similar driving characteristics to an equivalent diesel-powered truck.
The New Stralis NP operated with a laden tri-axle trailer for the first 808 miles, only dropping the trailer at a truckstop in Redruth as the Land’s End Visitor Centre cannot accommodate 13.6m trailers.
Truck & Driver’s editor in chief, Will Shiers, who was behind the wheel of the 30-tonne artic for much of the drive, says: “Gas-powered trucks of old were about as appealing as a dose of the clap, but this is different. It performs well and drives nicely. It’s a cleaner, cheaper, viable alternative to diesel.
“The red light came on the fuel gauge about 50 miles from Land’s End, so it was touch and go whether or not we were going to make it. The last 10 miles were about as stressful as Christmas with my mother-in-law.”
Although the UK has Europe’s most comprehensive LNG filling station network, the closest site to John O’Groats is Carlisle, and the nearest to Land’s End is Bridgwater, meaning the truck had to be low-loaded to and from the start and finish points.
Read our driving impression of the Iveco Stralis NP in the July issue of Truck & Driver.