The logistics department of the BMW Group Regensburg plant has now completed a pilot trial in which a truck with the alternative drive was part of the real supply chain for two weeks. Their conclusions: long range, less pollutants, quieter operation — these are the advantages of trucks powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).
As a sustainable drive technology, LNG has potential for the logistics of large industrial companies. This is the result of a two-week pilot test, which the BMW Group initiated and implemented together with the truck manufacturer Iveco and the forwarding company Duvenbeck. As part of the test, an LNG-powered truck daily brought engines from the BMW Steyr location to the BMW Group plant in Regensburg. Valuable data was obtained in order to assess the marketability of the technology.
Long range compared to other alternative drives
Because natural gas loses volume during liquefaction, the use of LNG in heavy-duty traffic has a decisive advantage: the comparatively long range. Thus, the Iveco Stralis 400 NP could complete the 530 km daily round trip between Steyr and Regensburg safely without needing to refuel. With electric drive however, BMW observed it would take several recharges to complete the same trip. When using CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) compressed natural gas, it would generally be necessary to install a tank that is three times larger to achieve the same range as LNG.
When driving, there is virtually no particulate matter
Dr. Thomas Irrenhauser, who supervised the trouble-free pilot operation on behalf of BMW within the framework of the project “Innovation and Industry 4.0”, sees LNG as a “sensible, sustainable alternative to conventional diesel” in the long term. In direct comparison, emissions of nitrogen oxide are up to 60 percent lower, and noise levels during operation are up to 50 percent lower. Fine dust is virtually non-existent. “In the course of the environmental debate, LNG trucks are increasingly in demand,” says Mario Männlein from project partner Iveco. Already 2,000 LNG lorries are operating in Europe, this despite the fact that the network of LNG filling stations still has gaps.
Source: BMW Group