Energy Futures Forum LIVE! a big success at Fleet Transport Awards 2016
An opportunity to experience alternatives to fossil fuel powered commercial vehicles first hand was the main attraction of the Fleet Transport Energy Futures Forum LIVE! event on 3 September. Held at Citywest Hotel in Dublin prior to the Fleet Transport Awards that evening, the Ride & Drive experience offered fleet buyers, company owners and other key decision makers the opportunity to learn about and test-drive a broad range of alternative fuel vehicles ranging from electric to gas and hybrid power.
Welcoming guests to the Energy Futures Forum LIVE!, Fleet Transport’s Cathal Doyle noted the great strides made by the industry in recent years to produce ever greener and cleaner trucks and vans. “The low emissions emitted by Euro 6 vehicles are at a level that would not have seemed possible ten or fifteen years ago,” he said. “Nonetheless there is no cause for complacency, and the battle to produce ever cleaner and quieter trucks, vans and cars continues apace. That’s where alternative fuel vehicles are going to play an ever increasing role.”
With vehicles ranging from full size trucks right down to passenger cars there was something for everyone at the Energy Futures Forum LIVE!. From when the event opened at 12 noon, a steady stream of visitors engaged with representatives from the assembled exhibitors, before climbing aboard for a test drive of the assorted vehicles.
Officially opening the Energy Futures Forum LIVE!, Dr. Brian Motherway, CEO of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) welcomed the new technology on display. “We have to change the way we do energy here in Ireland. We can’t keep using fossil fuel, we can’t keep spending the amount of money we do on fossil fuels, and particularly here in Ireland we can’t keep depending on other people to get our energy. In Ireland 90% of our energy comes from elsewhere, and a third of that goes to the transport sector. That’s costing us all as a society,” he said, adding “It’s very exciting to see what is going on in the transport sector and all the technologies that are here. Sales have really taken off in the electric sector, and I think we’re going to see exactly the same with the gas vehicles, the trucks and vans that we see out here. I think we are on the cusp of something really on exciting where the technology is now.”
Among those providing vehicles at the Ride & Drive event was Ozone Cars in association with Autogas and FLOGAS. The Dublin company specialises in supplying environmentally friendly, fuel efficient vehicles. Ozone & Autogas Ireland presented an ultra cost-effective LPG dual-fuelled Dacia van in addition to two Scania R420’s successfully converted to a FLOGAS LPG DieselBlend offering up to 50:50 ratio of Diesel to LPG. Also available for test drives were a brace of Toyota Priuses (or Prii to be strictly correct).
“We were delighted to display and present the latest energy saving and emissions reduction technologies including LPG and Hydrogen now available in HGV, vans and fleet-cars at the Fleet Transport Energy Futures Forum LIVE!,” said Ian McDonnell of Ozone Cars. “For example, our LPG DieselBlend as seen on the Scania R420’s has the advantage of being a significantly cleaner, lower emission fuel burn coupled with up to 25% reduction in fuel cost, without range anxiety.”
Other heavy duty trucks powered by gas were demonstrated by Viriginia Transport who showcased a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Volvo FH, while Macroom Transport, who later that evening claimed the prestigious Irish Haulier of the Year 2016 title at the Fleet Transport Awards, had a DAF XF 460 running on a diesel / LPG mix.
Moving down a truck category size, FUSO’s Eco-Canter offers the benefits of a Diesel/Electric Hybrid in the 7.5t category – you can expect fuel savings of up to 23% – as well as lower CO2 emissions when compared to a conventional diesel Canter.
For those looking for cleaner and green vans, Iveco had the new CNG powered Daily Natural Power, with Mercedes-Benz demonstrating the similarly powered Sprinter NGT. In the compact van category, Nissan’s eNV200 and the Renault’s Kangoo ZE attracted much interest from those looking for all-electric power. The SUV / Crossover sector wasn’t left out either, thanks to Mitsubishi’s acclaimed Outlander PHEV Plug-in-Hybrid Electric.
Even passenger car customers were catered for thanks to the all-electric Volkswagen Golf E and Renault Zoe, while Volvo Cars’ V60 is the first Diesel Hybrid car to go on sale here.