New Euro6 trucks from Volvo running on LNG offer the same performance as diesel, but with 20-100% lower CO₂ emissions
04 October 2017
Volvo Trucks is now introducing Euro 6-compliant heavy duty trucks running on liquefied natural gas or biogas. The new trucks have the same performance, driveability and fuel consumption as Volvo’s diesel-powered models. Furthermore, the new trucks’ CO₂ emissions are 20–100% lower compared with diesel, depending on choice of fuel. The new Volvo FH LNG and Volvo FM LNG are available with 420 or 460 hp for heavy regional and long-haul operations.
Instead of an Otto cycle engine, which is the conventional solution for gas-powered vehicles, the Volvo FH LNG and Volvo FM LNG are powered by gas engines utilizing Diesel cycle technology. This means that an operator who chooses gas can do so without compromising on driveability, fuel efficiency or reliability. Volvo’s 460 hp gas engine delivers maximum torque of 2300 N·m while the 420 hp version produces 2100 N·m. This is the same as Volvo’s corresponding diesel engines. Fuel consumption is on a par with Volvo’s diesel engines, but 15 to 25% lower than for conventional gas engines.
The fuel used is natural gas in the form of LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) or biogas (bio-LNG). Both fuels consist of methane. If biogas is used, the climate footprint can shrink by as much as 100% and if natural gas is used, the reduction is 20%. This relates to emissions from the vehicle during usage, known as tank-to-wheel.
In order to maximise the driving range, the tanks are filled with LNG, which is stored at 4-10 bar pressure at a temperature of -140 to -125 °C. The biggest fuel tank variant contains enough LNG for a range of up to 1000 km (621 miles). Refueling takes about the same time as filling up with diesel. When driving, the fuel is warmed up, pressurized and converted into a gas before it is injected into the engine. In order to ignite the gas, a tiny quantity of diesel is added at the moment of injection. A 100% reduction of CO2 emissions requires that fossil diesel is replaced with HVO (Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils) and combined with bio-LNG.
Volvo Trucks is now working together with gas suppliers and customers to develop the expansion of LNG infrastructure in Europe. This development is also being supported politically in many countries and by the EU. A strategy for expanding LNG infrastructure is also included in the European Commission and member states’ action packages for securing Europe’s long-term energy supply.
The Volvo FH LNG and Volvo FM LNG are Whole-Vehicle Type-approved and certified as per European standard ECE R110. Sales of Volvo FM LNG and Volvo FH LNG will start during spring 2018.
Nice! However, I would like to know more about the exhaust aftertreatment system. Is it similar to the diesel version or have they done anything to improve methane oxidation and catalyst durability?
Posted by: Peter_XX | 04 October 2017 at 08:48 AM
Peter, if this is the same Westport HPDI technology (except that the reliability problems have been fixed?) then it is typical diesel SCR/DPF after treatment. But I don't know that, just guessing.
Posted by: James McLaughlin | 05 October 2017 at 07:39 PM