In future, the CNG lorries will transport containers which arrive in and leave Berlin by means of combined transportation to the ramps of the forwarder’s customers. “The CNG lorries emit 80 per cent fewer nitrous gases and 95 per cent less fine particulate matter,” explained Axel Plaß, Managing Director of the Zippel Group.
The Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU) was the guest of honour at the ceremonial handover at BEHALA’s Westhafen port. The already environmentally friendly Zippel train system between the German seaports and BEHALA in Berlin will now be enhanced with an environmentally friendly transport option for the so-called last mile.
According to Mr Tiemann, the procurement costs for CNG tractor units are higher compared to conventional diesel-operated articulated lorries on the one hand and, in addition, the maintenance costs of the engines which work using the Otto principle are higher than those of diesel engines. However, on the other hand, the current price difference between diesel and compressed natural gas (CNG), which is calculated in kilograms, makes the alternative fuel significantly more attractive. Yet only a very limited amount of data is available from the market as regards the resale value of CNG lorries. Taking political and business developments into account, the specialist forecasts that, on the basis of market mechanisms and the growing environmental awareness of customers, such an investment should make good business sense.
The current CNG fuel price, which varies greatly across Germany according to the provider, is also of interest in Mr Tiemann’s opinion. “There is a difference of around ten cents in favour of CNG,” he noted. The larger the delta, the more attractive this fuel becomes. “It’s thus a bet against diesel.” Incidentally, there is no price coupling mechanism between diesel and CNG prices. “When the price of diesel drops below one euro, as was the case at the end of 2015, CNG vehicles no longer make financial sense.” The alternative fuel also performs well in terms of refuelling, even though it is required more often due to the shorter range. The Zippel drivers praised the fact that the odour-neutral refilling process took just 10 to 15 minutes.
Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer lauded the “virtually CO2-free traffic concept with combined transport”.