Volvo Trucks sees growing interest in natural gas for heavy transport
The European Union Green Deal clearly indicates the direction the transport industry needs to take towards a cleaner future, which means that there must be an end date for fossil fuels. As a result, haulers and transport buyers are increasingly looking for alternatives to diesel. For this reason, the new Volvo FH and Volvo FM trucks will have engines that run on LNG and bio-LNG, which offer the same high performance as diesel engines.
“Today, LNG-fueled trucks are the most commercially viable alternative to ordinary diesel for heavy long-haul operations. This fuel is available in sufficiently large quantities and at a competitive price. Using more gas trucks creates favorable conditions for making a transition to a larger share of liquefied biogas over time,” said Lars Mårtensson, Director of Environment and Innovation at Volvo Trucks.
Volvo Trucks’ driveline for LNG and bio-LNG has an energy-efficiency comparable to that of its diesel-powered counterparts, but produces significantly lower CO2 emissions. Using biomethane reduces net emissions by up to 100% from tank to wheel (TTW), while using natural gas cuts emissions by around 20% (TTW) compared with ordinary European standard diesel.
The production of fossil-free biogas requires a greater number of production plants for anaerobic digestion of waste with the possibility of cooling the gas into liquid form. Various studies have calculated that just over 20% of diesel in Europe could be replaced by renewable gas in the form of bio-LNG by 2030. The number of LNG stations is constantly increasing, and is already an alternative to diesel on many routes. However, the refueling network needs to continue expanding in pace with a corresponding growth in the number of natural gas-powered trucks.
“By investing in LNG trucks, we are showing that bio-LNG is an important alternative to reduce dependency on fossil diesel. However, to speed up the transition to climate-neutral transport, it is necessary to continue investing in LNG filling stations and carrying out measures to make it easier for haulers to invest heavy in heavy gas-powered vehicles,” commented Mårtensson.
Because no individual energy carrier is capable of meeting all the challenges related to climate change, different types of fuels and drivelines will continue to co-exist for the foreseeable future. “Embracing new technology will be the key to achieving climate neutrality,” the businessman added.