Babcock wants to tackle carbon emissions and is the first company to offer fully supported CNG dual fuel DAF Trucks to the long-haulage and regional transport segments in southern Africa. Natural gas as an alternative fuel source has been a significant topic in South Africa’s automotive industry for years, due to the growing necessity to curtail dependency on conventional fossil fuels, the soaring price of diesel and petrol, and the need to reduce harmful CO₂ emissions.
“We have had numerous enquiries about the possibility of dual fuel vehicles, and the first handful of DAF test trucks capable of CNG conversion are now ready for the South African regional transportation sector to benefit from,” said Mark Gavin, Sales Director for Babcock’s Transport Solutions business. He added that the dual fuel trucks will be capable of using various forms of natural gas such as CNG and eventually LNG with minor engine modifications, allowing the DAF Trucks to seamlessly alternate between natural gas and conventional fuel using a two-stage pressure regulator to ensure optimum gas supply.
According to Gavin, Babcock is currently working with two different conversion partners to ensure that the kits are fitted on the DAF Trucks to the highest quality standards in South Africa. The cost of the CNG conversion kit is usually recovered within the first 18 to 24 months of the vehicle lifecycle, depending on mileage covered.
Babcock has already supplied DAF Trucks operating with dual fuel systems into the southern African market and are achieving impressive results – most notably with Black Knight Logistics who were not only one of the first operators to take delivery of the DAF CNG solution, but were also pioneers of the dual fuel technology, particularly on the XF 105.460 models.
The South African government has already addressed the benefits of natural gas, calling it the backbone of regional economic integration among Southern African Development Community (SADC) member countries. Future legislative plans include the establishment of a regional natural gas committee tasked with promoting the inclusion of gas in the regional energy mix.