Volvo Trucks reports increased interest in LNG and bio-LNG

Volvo Trucks is seeing an increased interest in gas as an alternative to diesel for heavy-duty truck operations in Europe.

Hauliers and transport buyers are increasingly interested in reducing their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and costs through the use of refrigerated liquefied gas as a fuel. As a result, the new Volvo FH and Volvo FM trucks will have engines that run on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and biogas, offering the same high performance as diesel engines.

“Today, LNG-fuelled trucks are the most commercially-viable alternative to ordinary diesel for heavy long-haul operations,” said Lars Mårtensson, director of environment and innovation at Volvo Trucks.

“This fuel is available in sufficiently large quantities and at a competitive price. Using more gas trucks creates favourable conditions for making a transition to a larger share of liquefied biogas over time.”

Volvo Trucks’ driveline for liquefied biogas (LBG) and natural gas has an energy-efficiency comparable to that of its diesel-powered counterparts but produces significantly lower CO2 emissions.

Using LBG, or bio-LNG, reduces net emissions by up to 100% from tank-to-wheel (TTW), while using natural gas cuts emissions by around 20% TTW compared with ordinary European standard diesel.

The production of fossil-free biogas requires a greater number of production plants for the anaerobic digestion of waste with the possibility of cooling the gas into liquid form. According to Volvo Trucks, various studies have calculated just over 20% of diesel in Europe could be replaced by bio-LNG by 2030.

The number of liquefied gas filling stations is increasing and is already an alternative to diesel on many routes. However, Volvo Trucks believes the number of filling stations needs to continue expanding in pace with the corresponding growth of gas-powered trucks.

“By investing in LNG trucks, we are showing that bio-LNG is an important alternative to reduce dependency on fossil fuel,” added Mårtensson. “However, to speed up the transition to climate-neutral transport, it is necessary to continue investing in liquefied gas filling stations and carrying out measures to make it easier for hauliers to invest in heavy gas-powered vehicles.”

Mårtensson said that while renewable gas has great potential, gas trucks won’t be able to meet all transport challenges. “Electromobility will play an important role locally, as well as regionally going forward, and the development of batteries and charging infrastructure will be important factors in its expansion,” he said.

“Although promising developments have been made in hydrogen fuel cell technology, there are still practical and financial obstacles to overcome before it can provide significant climate benefits in heavy-duty transport.”

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