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Volvo Trucks introduces new monofuel natural gas version of FE

Volvo FE CNG. Click to enlarge.

Volvo Trucks is expanding its model range in Europe with a new version of the Volvo FE running entirely on natural gas. The Volvo FE CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) has been primarily developed for operations involving short driving cycles with repeated starts and stops such as refuse collection and local distribution.

The Volvo FE CNG is powered by an all-new 9-liter Euro 6 engine featuring spark plug technology that produces 320 hp (239 kW) and 1356 N·m (1000 lb-ft) of torque. Spark plug technology is particularly suitable for driving cycles where the truck covers short distances with a lot of start-stop traffic, said Christina Eriksson, Business Manager Alternative Drivelines at Volvo Trucks.

Equipped with a fully automatic transmission, the truck retains the same driveability and productivity as the conventional Volvo FE. The automatic transmission also gives faster driveline response.

FE CNG driveline. Click to enlarge.

With the Volvo FE CNG we can now offer companies that drive a lot in urban environments a truck with a far lower environmental impact. Many cities the world over are looking for alternatives to diesel-powered trucks. In the field of refuse handling in particular, renewable fuels are often a requirement for securing a purchase contract.

— Christina Eriksson

Methane gas is odorless when combusted and it contains very low levels of harmful particles. If the methane is a biogas emissions of carbon dioxide are up to 70% lower than those of a diesel truck.

Methane gas is the fuel that will become a sustainable alternative to diesel in the long term. Right now the focus is on working together with the various public authorities and private corporations to draw up the relevant rules and create the right preconditions for positive development.

—Lars Mårtensson, Environmental Director at Volvo Trucks

Sales of the new Volvo FE CNG will start in Europe in August, with series production getting under way in early 2015.



Ok, so the main thing here is that they use Methane rather than diesel for a bin truck, which will have a lot of stop / start action.
But not a hybrid, either electric or hydraulic.

I presume the NG one is cheaper than a hybrid and getting the diesel out of the system keeps local emissions to a minimum.
Sounds reasonable.

Roger Pham

For frequent start, stop, and idling, hydraulic or electric hybrid, or battery or FC electric would be more efficient, since engine is not efficient at low load in comparison to e-motor.

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