Austrian automotive manufacturer Magna Steyr AG, a subsidiary of Magna International, has concluded a study testing a natural gas Mercedes Benz Econic initiated late 2009 together with Vienna University of Technology. The study set about to determine its suitability as a transport vehicle to support a reintroduced night-shift at Magna Steyr’s main production facility in Graz. As a result of the research findings, in future the environmentally-friendly transport and supply logistics operations of the Magna Steyr Group are to be carried out for the most part using natural gas and biogas-driven Mercedes-Benz Econic trucks. Initially, around 20 to 30 diesel trucks are to be replaced by Econic semitrailer tractor vehicles.
Entitled “Clean Heavy Duty” (“Environmentally Friendly Commercial Vehicle”), the natural gas vehicle study was set up by Professor Ernst Pucher, who lectures at the Vienna University of Technology and enjoys an international reputation in the field of hybrid and CNG drives (natural gas) in particular.
The Mercedes-Benz Econic, able to operate on biomethane, is entering into new areas of operation in Graz: without deploying the particularly environmentally-friendly specialist vehicle, Magna Steyr would not have been able to operate a third shift. Noise and exhaust emission standards apply not only in Germany and Austria, but also all across Europe, with the parties affected by such issues actively enjoying a right of action.
Noise emissions halved
The M906 LAG engine produces 205 kW (279 hp) from a displacement of 6.9 litres. The emissions produced by the Econic with natural gas drive do not contain any fine dust or particles. In addition, the gas drive also boasts low noise emissions. The noise level of a petrol engine is usually around 77 dBA, while that of a diesel engine is between 85 and 97 dBA. The noise emissions of the Mercedes-Benz Econic with natural gas drive were around 77 dBA. Thanks to additional noise-insulating measures, the engineers at the Daimler plant in Wörth have now succeeded in achieving a further significant reduction down to 72 dBA.
On the log-based decibel scale, a reduction of 5 dBA is equivalent to halving the noise emissions.
(This article compiled using information from a Daimler press release)