Meath County Council HVO Trial – Notice of Question

Transportation SPC – Notice of Question (Feb 2023)

Can Meath County Council investigate the possible use of and feasibility of Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) Fuel for the fleet of council vehicles?

Response (May 2023)
Decarbonization of fleet is a priority for Meath County Council and will greatly aid organizational emissions reduction to achieve our 2030 targets, however, it is not without challenges for our larger sized fleet where EV or hydrogen technology is not fully proven or readily accessible. In order to strive towards our targets transitional options must be examined, including HVO. In developing transitional solutions, it is important that vehicles can continue to perform as present in terms of range, volume and load capacity, further to this an exercise is currently ongoing to ascertain our future resource needs(including fleet) in a changing environment.

Transportation Operations in collaboration with the Climate Action Team have commenced a trial of HVO in the Navan depot. Three vehicles from the Navan MD have
been assigned to the trial plus a Civil Defence vehicle from the adjacent HQ. The trial will run for a period of three months and may be extended for a further three months using a great number of vehicles. HVO fuel consumption will be monitored over the trial period as will vehicle performance.

In consideration of the longer term use of HVO or other alternative fuels there are number of considerations. Firstly, locations and size of the bunded tanks, some of our depots have restrictions on space or may require additional security if large volumes of fuel are to be stored, storage locations would have to be carefully considered to avoid unnecessary driving to re-fuel. Secondly, the fuel must be certified as fully sustainable, that is, made form waste oils and not from processes contributing to deforestation. Additionally, security of supply is important, that fuel is available on an ongoing basis with short lead in times.

It is recognised technology is constantly changing and the alternative fuels space is a dynamic one, Transportation will continue to engage with the sector to explore options and where appropriate participate in trials, consideration will need to be given on how best to procure alternative fuels and if there are economy of scales benefit in collaborating with other local authorities or agencies. The outcome of this trial will inform options for fleet across all directorates.