The Volvo V90 bi-fuel, equipped with Westport Fuel System’s direct injection fuel system technology, has been officially launched at an event in the Volvo showroom in Kungsträdgården in Stockholm. The event was organised by Westport Sweden (Volvo’s partner for biogas vehicles), Aga Gas AB, E.ON, FordonsGas, Göteborg Energi and Energigas Sweden (Swedish Gas Association).
The significance of the bi-fuel version of the V90 was marked by the presence of former Prime Minister Goran Persson — involved in the biogas industry through its chairmanship of the company Scandinavian Biogas, Ambassador to Sweden Kenneth Macartney, Nancy S. Gougarty — Chief Executive Officer and Director of Westport Fuel Systems Inc., and corporate heads.
Mattias Goldmann, CEO of the green think tank Fores which houses the 2030-secretariat (see endnote) for sustainable transport, said at the launch: “Sweden has the most vehicles primarily fueled by biogas in the world, and the world’s northernmost biogas fuel station. But future development is dependent on having attractive cars to choose from, and the new Volvo V90 Bi-Fuel is precisely what we need for biogas to progress. It is prestigious, Swedish-built, powerful and climate friendly. I want one!”
Maria Malmkvist, CEO of Energigas Sweden says the new Euro 6 Volvo V90 Bi-Fuel is well suited for those who want an environmental alternative in the premium class. Malmkvist further commented that the Swedish government proposal for a bonus-malus system which was presented in April, must take into account the real impact on the climate; it must promote green cars such as gas vehicles and not just electric hybrids, a view supported by Persson.
Persson conveyed his enthusiasm for new biogas entrant: “Biogas is a smart fuel, produced in Sweden. It gives Natural Gas a new green dimension. The new Volvo V90 Bi-Fuel is a smart car, also produced in Sweden. What a perfect combination!”
Currently the V90 Bi-Fuel is only sold in Sweden, with availability in Belgium and Luxembourg planned for early 2017, perhaps sooner. Expressions of interest are being received from other members of the EU.
Powered by the Volvo T5 1969 cc, 187 kW engine which delivers 254 horsepower and 350 Nm, the V90 Bi-Fuel has 18 kg gas storage capacity. When fully fuelled, the car can travel 400 km on methane alone. As a bi-fuel vehicle it also has a gasoline tank which holds 55 litres, providing a cumulative driving range of about 1400 kms.
Although suitable for general use by all environmentally-sensitive owners, Volvo sees the car as being well suited for the taxi industry and expects significant uptake from that sector.
Manufactured at Volvo’s Torslanda car production centre in Gothenburg, the bi-fuel model is proposed for production early next month. Westport has its own installation facility inside the plant. The V90 Bi-fuel was also introduced to the market in Gothenburg 14th of October with representatives from the national airports Maria Gelin, CEO Göteborg Energi Lotta Brändström, VCS (Volvo Car Sweden) Fredrik Isakson, City Hall Gothenburg Elisabeth Undén.
The last launch event took place in Malmö 18th of October, in southern Sweden with local dignataries City Hall Malmö’s Kami Petersen and Skåne region chairman of regional development Thomas Hansson, speaking.
Per-Inge Kruse, Customer Director for Westport, informed NGV Global News that overall more than 250 people attended the events in the three cities which focused on sustainability besides the V90 Bi-Fuel. “Currently, we have more than 70% of the gas for transportation coming from renewable sources. This makes Sweden the most successful country in the world (so far) in the sector and, by having fuel produced from waste and used by cars produced in the same country, is a source for sustainable and fossil free jobs for the future,” Kruse said.
Endnote: Transport is the main contributor to climate change in Sweden. With this in mind, the 2030-secretariat — a “coalition of the willing” — was formed to reach a fossil independent transport sector by 2030.
(Sources: Volvo and Westport)