Volvo Trucks is expanding its model range in Europe with a new version of the Volvo FE running entirely on methane gas. The Volvo FE CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) has been primarily developed for operations involving short driving cycles with repeated starts and stops such as refuse collection and local distribution. It is equipped with a new 9-litre Euro 6 gas-powered engine featuring spark plug technology and automatic transmission.
“With the Volvo FE CNG we can now offer companies that drive a lot in urban environments a truck with a far lower environmental impact. Many cities the world over are looking for alternatives to diesel-powered trucks. In the field of refuse handling in particular, renewable fuels are often a requirement for securing a purchase contract,” says Christina Eriksson, Business Manager Alternative Drivelines at Volvo Trucks.
Methane gas is odourless when combusted and it contains very low levels of harmful particles. If the methane is a biogas, that is to say based on organic materials, emissions of carbon dioxide are up to 70 per cent lower than those of a diesel truck.
The Volvo FE CNG is powered by an all-new 9-litre Euro 6 engine featuring spark plug technology that produces 320 hp and 1356 Nm of torque.
“Spark plug technology is particularly suitable for driving cycles where the truck covers short distances with a lot of start-stop traffic,” explains Christina Eriksson.
Thanks to its fully automatic transmission, the truck retains the same excellent driveability and productivity as the conventional Volvo FE. The automatic transmission also gives faster driveline response.
“Methane gas is the fuel that will become a sustainable alternative to diesel in the long term. Right now the focus is on working together with the various public authorities and private corporations to draw up the relevant rules and create the right preconditions for positive development,” says Lars Mårtensson, Environmental Director at Volvo Trucks.
Sales of the new Volvo FE CNG will start in Europe in August, with series production getting under way in early 2015.
Facts Volvo FE CNG
- 4×2 (19t), 6×2 (19.5 – 26t) rigid
- G9K gas engine, 9-litre Euro 6 with spark plug technology, 320 hp / 1356 Nm
- Fully automatic transmission
- Day cab
- Tank system for up to 160 m3 methane gas
- 2×4 or 2×3 tanks for compressed natural gas fitted on both sides of the chassis.
Facts methane gas
Methane gas is a collective name for biogas (biomethane) and natural gas, both of which largely consist of methane. Natural gas is a fossil product that is between 40 and 500 million years old and is extracted from deep inside the Earth’s crust.
Biogas is similar to natural gas but it is a renewable gas that is created when organic material is decomposed by bacteria in an oxygen-free environment. It can for instance be created from refuse and other organic waste. When a truck runs on bioethane, emissions of carbon dioxide are cut by up to 70 per cent compared with running on diesel fuel.
(Source: Volvo Trucks)