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Volvo Trucks approves 100% renewable diesel for all Euro 5 engines, prepping certification for Euro 6

After extensive field testing of renewable diesel HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oils), Volvo Trucks has approved the fuel for all Euro 5 engines and is preparing certifications for Euro 6 engines. HVO (such as Neste’s NEXBTL) is produced from renewable raw materials such as vegetable and animal fats and acts as regular diesel. HVO can reduce CO2 emissions between 30-90%, depending upon the raw material.

In 2013, Volvo Trucks started a field test together with Renova, DHL Freight and OKQ8 to see how the use of 100% HVO affected engine performance and components. The six field test trucks were equipped with Euro 5 engines and covered approximately one million kilometers (621,000 miles) in commercial service over a two-year period.

The field test showed that the HVO works very well in our engines and can be used under the same conditions as regular diesel. It is also possible to freely mix diesel and HVO. The fuel is suitable for all customers who want to reduce their CO2 emissions and we see no restrictions regarding the type of transport or business. Combining HVO with the low emissions of our Euro 6 engines will allow the environmental impacts of the trucks to be minimized.

—Tobias Bergman, Product Manager for alternative fuels and hybrids at Volvo Trucks

The positive results from the field test mean that Volvo Trucks has now approved the use of HVO in all its Euro 5 engines with unchanged service intervals. In September 2015, there will be a global certification (WVTA) of HVO in the D5 and D8 engines for Euro 6. In parallel, work is underway to certify the engine variants D11, D13 and D16.

We believe in HVO’s potential and see an increasing interest from both customers and transport buyers. The major challenge is the availability of raw materials and refineries. We therefore hope that our investment in fuel will contribute to increased demand and that the HVO can be used in many other parts of the world in future.

—Lars Mårtensson, Director Environment and Innovation at Volvo Trucks

The draft EN15940 European standard for paraffinic diesel from synthesis or hydrotreatment includes fuels such as pine oil diesel fuel and Gas to Liquid (GtL) in addition to HVO.

Separately, Volvo Group North America issued a statement reiterating its commitment to working with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on Phase 2 of the national program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the fuel efficiency of medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses. (Earlier post.)

However, Volvo noted that it, in principle, maintains that a separate engine standard—as currently proposed for the new rulemaking—is inconsistent with the Group’s interest in minimizing the complete, real world environmental impacts of its products.

Volvo Group said that a separate engine standard is at odds with the reduction of NOx, due to the natural trade-off between NOx and CO2 emissions from the engine. It also limits manufacturers’ flexibility to meet the regulated targets for each individual customer in a way that suits their specific needs, and it incentivizes optimization for engine test cell requirements versus real world efficiencies, Volvo argued.

Volvo Group said it supports ambitious goals to reduce GHG emissions and fuel consumption for the complete vehicle, including engine efficiency, while providing overall value to its customers.


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