Can you tell us a little about your company?
I formed my company TAC EXPRESS in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in 2016. Five years later, I now have 13 permanent employees, including 3 people who work during holiday and retail sales periods. Being aware of my industry’s environmental impact, it wasn’t long before I wanted to transition my vehicle fleet to greener energy. Today, my company has 2 NGVs, vehicles that run on natural gas.
Why do you work with Heppner? How long have you been working with us? What is your relationship based on?
I’ve been delighted to see that the Heppner Group shares our aim to reduce diesel emissions. The different measures implemented in recent years have pushed companies like mine to take the extra step and convert to natural gas. So, putting in place a strategy that meets environmental demands has helped TAC EXPRESS to grow and increase its turnover.
The transport industry is subject to constant change (legislation, fuel prices…), so it’s important for me to guarantee my viability as a business with a customer portfolio with whom I have excellent working relationships. This is precisely what I have with Heppner, who have stayed with me over the years.
Are your customers aware of the transport industry’s environmental impact? And on this subject, does your involvement in Heppner’s energy transition project contribute added value to your company? How do you leverage this?
I am aware of our industry’s environmental impact at all levels and am proud to be taking part in this energy transition. The fact that I am building my own “green” fleet encourages me to invest more in this transition and that is why I plan to buy several electric vehicles in 2022-2023.
Heppner also has a strong presence nationwide, particularly in the Lyon area. This means that my trucks can fill up with natural gas in Lyon and Villeurbanne, which are two key locations for our business.
Could you have implemented this transition without Heppner? If you could have, how long would it have taken you?
TAC EXPRESS is delighted to continue partnering with Heppner; the Group has always been a key business partner and it can negotiate good prices for NGVs with the manufacturers and provide access to fuel. So that alone saves us a lot of time and money. Obviously, yes, I could have implemented this transition alone, but perhaps with more difficulties.
I have also been given a loan by the bank and the cost is the same as for a financial lease, so it’s still economically viable for my company. However, the government doesn’t provide enough support. Funding is available but it could be more, because some costs are increasing.
Are you affected by low emission zones? Are the new environmental regulations for transport a threat or an opportunity for the industry?
The low emission zones or LEZs are an opportunity for the industry because they highlight the effort made by transport companies. These measures affect me directly, as the current regulations are already in place in the Lyon metropolitan area.
Heppner has given its partners a “helping hand” and opened the way to a financing programme for NGVs. Some transport players are embarking on a vast energy programme, without necessarily ensuring access to the required fuel supply. I personally have no such difficulties.