Volvo Trucks has begun public field testing with methane diesel trucks that can run on liquefied natural gas (methane) (LNG). When liquefied methane and diesel are used in a ratio of 75-25, a long-haul truck has an operating range 500 to 1000 km (311 to 621 miles), depending on driving conditions—twice the operating range of methane diesel vehicles running on compressed gas and four times that of gas trucks with Otto engines.
Increased use of gas is a bridge towards climate-neutral transports. Biogas production is already taking off in many countries. We’re currently in a transition period, moving from decades of dependence on oil to a society built on renewable fuels. When trucks can operate on 80 percent pure biogas and 20 percent pure biodiesel, carbon emissions will be 80% lower than with conventional diesel technology.—Lars Mårtensson, Environmental Director at Volvo Trucks
Three Volvo FM trucks with 13-liter engines are currently being field tested. The technology is based on Volvo’s proven Euro 5 diesel engine, which has been converted for gas operation.
The field test vehicles are being operated by transport companies DHL, Götene Kyltransporter and Renova. The start of the field tests coincides with the inauguration of Sweden’s first public filling station for liquefied methane gas at Stigs Center in Göteborg. The station is a collaborative project between Volvo Trucks, FordonsGas Sverige and Göteborg Energi.
Filling stations have previously only existed for CNG (compressed natural gas). If methane gas is cooled down to minus 160 °C instead of being compressed, it becomes liquid and its volume is reduced by half. In this case, it is called LNG (liquefied natural gas), or LBG (liquefied biogas) if it is a biogas. Both these gases are also called LMG (liquefied methane gas).
Three filling stations for liquefied methane gas have been planned in Sweden to date. Besides the completed one in Göteborg, Aga will open a filling station in Stockholm, and Eon will open one in Malmö. Volvo Trucks is a partner in all the projects. There are plans to build additional stations if demand increases.