A woman in front of a CNG-powered ALDI logistics vehicle
June 2018

ALDI SOUTH launches long-term trial of natural gas-fuelled logistics vehicles

The ALDI SOUTH Group is trialling the use of four natural gas-fuelled vehicles for its logistics operations. Over a period of five years, the trial is intended to determine whether this climate-friendly technology can be employed as an alternative to diesel models.

  • The objective of the alternative drive technology trial is to further reduce the carbon emissions produced through the ALDI SOUTH business operations.
  • The long-term trial will take place in busy metropolitan areas with high levels of air pollution.
  • Natural gas vehicles produce less fine dust, carbon, nitrogen oxides, and noise.    

The natural gas-fuelled logistics vehicles will be trialled in four ALDI SOUTH regions for the purpose of transporting merchandise between the regional distribution centres and the stores in the areas surrounding Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, and Munich. “This trial demonstrates how we are implementing our climate policy, which involves consistently reducing the carbon emissions produced by our own business operations”, explained Andreas Kremer, Director of Logistics Management at ALDI SOUTH in Germany.

The trial will be undertaken in busy metropolitan areas where the limits set for nitrogen oxides are exceeded particularly often. In order to minimise the emission of exhaust fumes which are harmful to health and to the environment, ALDI SOUTH is not only employing innovative vehicle technology but also a sophisticated route planning concept. The natural gas vehicles supply merchandise to an average of 5 to 8 stores per day. “One significant challenge of the trial will be for the vehicles to reach suitable natural gas filling stations available in the region without having to make a detour from the planned route”, stated Andreas Kremer. In Germany, only around 6% of petrol stations provide compressed natural gas (CNG) - and not all of these are accessible to semi-trailers.

A variety of advantages
The use of natural gas-fuelled logistics vehicles promises many advantages. Compared to diesel-fuelled logistics vehicles, the use of natural gas as a fossil fuel enables an approximate 16% reduction in carbon emissions. In addition, the trial vehicles produce 99% less fine dust, 70% less nitrogen oxide, and considerably less noise.

In order to make this logistics project happen, ALDI SOUTH is working together with IVECO, which delivers the vehicles. The vehicles are equipped with 400 horsepower (model: IVECO Stralis NP), are 16.5 metres in length with trailer, and have a capacity of 130 kg CNG. The fuel consumption per 100 km is approx. 22 kg CNG. “We look forward to working side by side with ALDI SOUTH in order to trial this climate-friendly technology within the retail sector and therefore do our part to protect the environment,” stated Sönke Weichenthal, Business Director at IVECO.

Two of the trailers have been manufactured by Schmitz Cargobull AG based in Horstmar, and two by Karosseriewerk Heinrich Meyer GmbH in Göttingen. The transport cooling units used for refrigerating merchandise, which are also powered using the vehicle's own natural gas motor, were manufactured by Frigoblock Grosskopf GmbH based in Essen.

Besides the CNG-fuelled logistics vehicles, ALDI SOUTH will also trial one electrically powered vehicle for merchandise logistics as of autumn this year. The vehicle is powered using 100% TÜV-certified green electricity generated by hydropower and ALDI SOUTH's own photovoltaic systems. The trial will be conducted for a minimum period of four years and will take place in the western region of the Ruhr area.

For further information on sustainable logistics at ALDI SOUTH, you can visit the website at aldi-sued.de/logistik.