Iveco, the Fiat Industrial Group company, presented its new Stralis LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) vehicle at the “Bedrijfsauto 2012”, held at the RAI exhibition centre in Amsterdam mid-April. This natural gas vehicle is designed for medium range distribution and night-time deliveries. The displayed vehicle was a two axle tractor unit with semi-trailer, Cursor 8 natural gas engine with a power rating 330 HP, manual gearbox, production line Intarder and EBS. It is built for applications carrying between 18 and 40 tons.
Iveco says that the use of natural gas-powered vehicles represents an investment of great social importance, but also an economic advantage for vehicle operators. One of the key benefits of the LNG technology is that it guarantees a much greater range for vehicles, that can reach up to 750 km.
Also, in addition to the considerable advantages in terms of reduced emissions, which the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) technology already guarantees, the LNG system also enables a reduction in unladen weight, which leads to an increase in load carrying capacity. For regional distribution missions it has been estimated that savings of up to EUR 10,000 (USD 13,200) are possible compared with a traditional diesel-powered vehicle, over a distance of approximately 40,000 km per year. On refuse collection and recycling missions it is estimated that the saving can be up to EUR 20,000 (USD 26,400) per year.
“The natural gas vehicle technology represents a priority for Iveco’s activities,” said Alessandro Mortali, Senior Vice President Heavy Range at Iveco. “We are among the few manufacturers to have had the foresight to understand the importance of methane as an alternative energy source”.
Developing natural gas propulsion since 1995, Iveco claims a unique position as the only commercial and industrial vehicle manufacturer to offer a complete range of methane-powered commercial vehicles, with 11,000 vehicles circulating in private company and public sector fleets.
In vehicles using CNG technology the methane is stocked in gas form in steel tanks at a pressure of 200 bars. In LNG vehicles, the gas is stored in liquid form at -125ºC, in cryogenic tanks, and is fed to the engine as natural gas in a gaseous state, after been heated in a heat exchanger.
The market opportunities for these vehicles are particularly strong in the food and beverage sectors, fuel transportation, among logistics operators and firms engaged in night-time delivery. On average the noise reduction for natural gas fuelled Stralis vehicles is between 3 and 6 decibels compared to a vehicle with the same power rating running on diesel.
The LNG models will soon also be available in the 2 and 3 axle rigid versions, for urban and out of town missions with a 16 speed manual transmission and hydraulic retarder. Alternatively-fuelled vehicles can be specified with a 6 speed automatic transmission with hydraulic torque converter and integrated retarder. The natural gas Cursor 8 engine complies with the Euro VI emission limit values which will come into force in 2014.
Iveco’s natural gas-powered commercial vehicles can also use biomethane, one of the sources of renewable energy with the best credentials in terms of reduction of CO2 emissions.
(This article compiled using information from an Iveco press release)