Mercedes-Benz has delivered the first production version of its Econic tractor-trailer fueled by natural gas. Natural gas is an increasingly popular fuel for commercial applications like this truck because these vehicles typically operate from a central depot over a limited range. The trucks can be fueled at the depot.

This first Econic NGT was delivered to ALDI SÜD for food distribution to grocery stores. The natural gas-fueled truck provides cleaner operation in confined European urban areas with almost no particulate emissions and lower CO2 and NOx emissions. The truck can also run on biogas, which makes it essentially carbon neutral in operation. The press release is after the jump.

[Source: Daimler]

press release

Mercedes-Benz Econic powered by natural gas handed over to ALDI SÜD

  • First natural gas powered Mercedes-Benz Econic for ALDI SÜD
  • Tailor-made configuration with low cab for food distribution operations and city logistics
  • Saving costs while protecting the environment: economy and ecology go hand-in-hand for the Mercedes-Benz Econic
  • Econic as a natural gas powered semitrailer tractor has received the "Blue Angel" environmental award
Mönchengladbach/ Wörth – The first Mercedes-Benz Econic with NGT (Natural Gas Technology) for food distribution operations has been handed over to the ALDI SÜD group of companies in Mönchengladbach. The vehicle is a semitrailer tractor with a high roof and a refrigerated semitrailer. To honour its environment­tal responsibilities in the areas of procurement and distribution, ALDI SÜD decided in favour of an environmentally friendly natural gas engine - this is now being put to the test with this vehicle.

City logistics and natural gas power for environmentally sensitive urban areas

ALDI SÜD uses the new Mercedes-Benz Econic NGT to supply its branches on the left bank of the Lower Rhine from the central warehouse in Mönchengladbach. Traffic-calming zones, narrow entrances, illegally parked cars, increasing environmental regulations and access restrictions – as well as enormous time pressure – mean that city logistics make heavy demands on both the driver and vehicle. A modern distribution vehicle must therefore meet high requirements with respect to load capacity, manoeuvrability, environmental compatibility and economy. Lower CO2 emissions versus comparable, diesel powered vehicles, CO2-neutral operation when biogas is used as a fuel, zero particulate emissions and a low noise level - all these are the ecological benefits of the Econic NGT. Power is transferred by a six-speed automatic transmission. The vehicle meets the stringent EEV emission standard (Enhanced Environmentally Friendly Vehicle), and is therefore entitled to bear the "Blue Angel" environmental emblem.

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