VOLVO TRUCKS TO LAUNCH FM METHANEDIESEL
As it expands its alternative fuel programme, Volvo Trucks has announced that it will introduce a new dual-fuel model, the Volvo FM MethaneDiesel.
The introduction of the vehicle will make Volvo Trucks the first manufacturer in Europe to offer gas-powered regional distribution trucks that also meet long-haul application requirements. The vehicle offers a 13 litre engine with the ability to produce 460hp and 2,300Nm of torque; with fuel consisting of up to 75 per cent liquefied natural gas (LNG) and the rest diesel.
Compared to conventional gas-powered engines, where the fuel is ignited by spark plugs, the methane-diesel offers 30-40 per cent better efficiency with a decrease in fuel consumption by as much as 25 per cent. If run on biogas, emissions of carbon dioxide can even be slashed by as much as 70 per cent compared to a conventional diesel engine.
Field tests show that methane-diesel technology has the same high operating reliability as a regular diesel engine but with driveability roughly the same as with a diesel powered truck. The Volvo FM Methane Diesel is actually based on a regular diesel engine equipped with gas injectors, a cryogenic LNG tank and a catalytic converter with the LNG providing a greater operating range when compared to traditional gas trucks that use spark-plug technology. Indeed it can hold enough gas to support a range of up to 311 miles for a truck with a combination weight of 40 tonnes.
Series production of the vehicle is scheduled for August, although it can be ordered today in limited numbers in countries such as Great Brirain, the Netherlands and Sweden.