Italian commercial vehicles manufacturer Iveco and German energy company Uniper, formerly a component of EON, have opened Germany’s first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) fueling station for trucks in Ulm, in the country’s south. The two companies propose to trial innovative engine concepts for long-haul transportation using LNG, a fuel that is more environmentally friendly than conventional fuels.
Not only do trucks running on LNG emit substantially less carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, they are also much quieter in operation than comparable diesel-powered vehicles. Moreover, a tank of refrigerated LNG provides 600 times as much power as normal natural gas. This makes it possible to use natural-gas-powered trucks for long-haul transportation.
By joining forces, Iveco and Uniper position themselves to advance the use of LNG in heavy-duty transportation, throughout Europe and globally. Iveco offers a range of LNG-powered commercial vehicles, including the Stralis NP launched in Madrid mid-June. The vehicle features a 400 HP engine, a 12-speed automated gearbox and Iveco’s high-roof “Hi-Way” cabin. The Stralis NP represents a further advance made by Iveco to open up further applications for natural-gas mobility.
Uniper, one of the leading companies operating in the international LNG business, has substantial quantities of LNG at its disposal, and the requisite capacity at LNG terminals. According to the company’s COO Eckhardt Rümmler, “the construction of this fueling station in Germany represents a first, important step in the development of innovative, environmentally friendly fueling alternatives in long-haul transportation. Working in further partnerships, we want to build a fit-for-purpose network of LNG fueling stations in Germany and selected neighbouring countries in the next few years. We are thus making an important contribution toward improving environmental performance and noise reduction in road transportation.” Uniper sells LNG under the LIQVIS brand.
Sascha Kaehne, Business Director at Iveco Magirus AG, said: “We are pleased to join forces with Uniper in taking the first step toward a true alternative to diesel in Germany at the Ulm development site. The Stralis is now the first LNG vehicle in Europe that is fully capable of long-haul transportation from the perspective of drivers and business owners.”
Iveco explains that due in no small part to rapidly increasing freight volumes, the use of LNG as a fuel for trucks provides the fastest and most efficient solution to make heavy-duty transportation on the road more environmentally friendly.