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Further demonstrating its determination to develop alternative energy solutions in its catalogue, Renault Trucks is upgrading the Compressed Natural Gas for vehicles (CNG) version of its Premium Distribution model. At the same time, it is launching a labelling process to identify service points in its network capable of handling these new energies. Plans are also underway to similarly upgrade the Midlum CNG range. CNG offers considerable advantages for the environment, since these vehicles generate no smoke or particulate emissions and the exhaust that they do produce is virtually odourless. Furthermore, an CNG vehicle is much quieter than one with an internal combustion engine, which is a considerable advantage in urban applications, particularly for regional authorities seeking reliable and high performance alternative solutions to diesel. Renault Premium Distribution is available in France, Spain and Switzerland and will gradually be introduced in the other European countries.

Committed to the research and development of alternative solutions to all-diesel for many years, Renault Trucks has made a further step forward by introducing an upgraded range of vehicles running on CNG (natural gas for vehicles). A fresh development spearheaded with its Premium Distribution RCV (refuse collection vehicle), mainly designed for regional government authority customers. This is an innovative and efficient alternative solution to all-diesel which comes under the Renault Trucks Clean Tech label applied to all its vehicles using electrical, hybrid and CNG technology.

CNG has been chosen because it is a safe, low emission and quiet energy offering the same dynamic qualities as diesel which also benefits from advantageous tax positioning in several countries, including France. Supplying the engine with CNG does not in any way alter its performance or the way the vehicle is driven. Filling up with CNG takes place by using a high pressure compressor found at specialised service stations. With particularly large numbers of these in France, many are also being installed at operators' depots, which explains why CNG is becoming more widely adopted by captive fleets. The gas, which is lighter than air and noninflammable, is stored in the vehicle's wheelbase in specifically designed tanks.

 In addition, the Premium Distribution CNG RCV is much quieter than a vehicle running on an internal combustion engine at intermediary engine speeds (from 1,000 to 1,800 rpm) which is the range in which it operates during refuse collection activities. This reduced noise level, which can be as much as 2 dB, is particularly appreciated by both those living in town centres and fleet managers who, as a result, can extend their vehicle's operating hours, using it earlier in the morning and later in the evening.

As far as technical details are concerned, the Renault Premium Distribution CNG RCV is available in 4x2 18/19 T rigid and 26 T 6x2*4 rigid versions. The engine is an ISL G type Cummins developing 300 hp or 1,166 Nm. The transmission is automatic via an Alison 3000 gearbox. Wheelbases range from 3,500 to 4,750 mm with an extension of 1,350 mm for the 6x2*4.

This model will first of all be available in France, Spain and Switzerland, before being gradually introduced into the other European countries. It will be serviced in the Renault Trucks network by personnel specially trained in CNG. Maintenance operations for CNG vehicles are conventional and differ very little from those required by vehicles fitted with internal combustion engines, even if they do require special tools. Renault Trucks has at the same time launched a "Clean Tech" labelling procedure in its network of repairers so that customers can be sure of obtaining an appropriate quality of service associated with these new technologies, particularly in terms of specific skills, team training and also the use of specific tools.

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