In order to reduce its carbon impact on the environment, the company specializing in equipment rental has set up the Driv’Eko program internally. This roadmap aims to make its vehicle fleets more virtuous, from service cars to large-tonnage tractor units.
“Transport is a big carbon point at Kiloutou, our activity requiring the delivery of equipment”, comments Jean-Luc Benoît, responsible for Transport operations and methods.
The company’s workforce has 3,677 full-time equivalent positions, each of which is responsible for the emission of 256 tonnes CO2 eq. Heavy goods vehicles account for 71% of fuel consumption, against 18% for utility vehicles and 11% for light vehicles.
While hybrid and electric technologies have landed for the latter at Kiloutou, natural gas (CNG and LNG) is the solution currently adopted to power the engines of heavy goods vehicles. “This is a big step forward for us”, measures our interlocutor.
Through its CSR approach (Corporate Social Responsibility) which includes the Driv’Eko program, the French group seeks both to limit its direct emissions of greenhouse gases, pollutants and noise, and to anticipate the hardening of traffic constraints in city centers, and to meet the expectations of its customers and partners on these subjects.
“Our customers appreciate our fleet conversion efforts that result in the purchase of vehicles at a higher initial cost. Calculating the carbon impact of their activity, which includes the services provided by their suppliers, is important in order to get jobs. It is therefore beneficial for our customers that the machines they rent are delivered with low-carbon vehicles “, underlines Jean-Luc Benoît.
22 LNG tractor units
Still not widely used in France, it is with LNG (liquefied natural gas) that Kilotou has started converting its fleet of 400 heavy goods vehicles. This is necessary in order to have a range of around 1,600 km on a full tank with tractor units.
“The distribution of these trucks was made according to the refueling stations open in urban areas with high pollution levels, such as Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Toulouse, and Lille,” reveals Jean-Luc Benoît.
These Iveco Stralis Natural Power (460 hp for 2,000 Nm of torque between 1,100 and 1,600 rpm), with the latest generation Hi-Tronix robotic gearbox, deliver equipment for construction sites by displaying the advantages of using LNG on the cab: “-99% fine particles, -50% decibels, -60% nitrogen oxides”.
After having wiped a few plasters, as is most often the case with new technologies, Kiloutou was able to assess that these trucks meet expectations, particularly in terms of consumption, and satisfy the drivers.
6 carriers 32 tons CNG
For its 32-ton CNG (compressed natural gas) carriers, Kiloutou has once again chosen Stralis NP from Iveco (400 horsepower, 1,700 Nm of torque).
“Kiloutou worked with the manufacturer, but also with the CVIM bodybuilder, who installed the rear tilting platform differently. Equipped in this way, it is possible to unload the vehicles transported on land or on a quay, ”explains Jean-Luc Benoît.
“We also asked CVIM to make a formwork to hide the rack of additional bottles installed behind the cabin and which allows us to obtain a range of around 700 km, or 2 days of operation,” he continues.
As CNG is more widespread than LNG, the distribution of the six 32-ton carriers was made with fewer constraints. “On their wheels, 2 drivers take turns over a daily 15-hour period: one has been making deliveries since early in the morning; the other replaces him at the beginning of the afternoon “, specifies our interlocutor.
23 CNG vans
During the month of September, Kiloutou will receive 23 Iveco 12 m3 Daily Blue-power vans with 136 horsepower (350 Nm torque) running on CNG and fitted with an 8-speed Hi Matic ZF automatic transmission. They have also been adapted to the needs of the business.
“They will be equipped with retractable ramps and a trailer hitch to deliver smaller construction equipment [NDLR : PTRA de 7 tonnes]. We have also added a CNG tank to gain a third of autonomy. With 300 km, the vans will be able to rotate for 2 days before going to the station to refuel, ”explains Jean-Luc Benoît. These utilities will mainly be operated in Ile-de-France and in the East (Nancy, Mundolsheim, Moulins-lès-Metz, Montbéliard, Chalon-sur-Saône, etc.).
“Once our fleets running on CNG are deployed, we think of supplying them with biogas”, reveals our interlocutor.
18 Ford Fiesta hybrids
“We have also started the conversion of our fleet of 550 service cars that run both in and out of town. They are used by our sales associates who visit customers to enter into new rental contracts, ”adds Jean-Luc Benoît.
“A first installment of 18 Ford Fiesta [NDLR : 20% du renouvellement du parc au titre de l’année 2020] should be fully delivered before November. From the end of September, we will formalize new orders for hybrid cars to be received in the course of fiscal year 2021 “, he plans.
“For our commercial attachés, these vehicles allow access to sensitive ‘anti-diesel’ areas, while maintaining autonomy and operating mode, in particular for refueling,” he explains.
3 Renault Zoe
“The Renault Zoe are also service cars that only drive in urban areas. They are assigned to Parisian agencies which are equipped with 22 kW terminals ”, Jean-Luc Benoît updates. “Adopting the electric car allows us to prepare ourselves for the development of restricted traffic areas. We are currently experimenting with it to see if it meets our needs, ”he says.
“It’s more complicated than with hybrids, however, because our sales associates use their service cars to get home. For those who live in buildings, recharging the batteries can pose problems. This is why we have to look at the deployment of EVs on a case-by-case basis. Kiloutou cannot bet everything on electricity, ”he argues.
“In the medium term, our company plans to convert 80% of its fleets to alternative energies. We are also interested in hydrogen. In this period of transformation that we are currently experiencing in terms of mobility, we are always on the lookout for new solutions, “concludes the head of Transport operations and methods.
Automobile Propre and I would like to thank Jean-Luc Benoît for his availability and responsiveness.