The Volvo group will launch a 13L liquefied natural gas (LNG) engine within the Volvo brand for the North American market by 2014. The engine's high pressure diesel ignition technology will provide significant fuel efficiency gains compared with current natural gas products.
Combined with the group's previously announced offering of compressed natural gas (CNG) powered Volvo VNM and Volvo VNL model daycabs, the new engine will provide customers with a complete range of natural gas powered transportation solutions. Within the Volvo brand another fuel is being tested that can be produced from natural gas, DME (dimethyl ether), which has the potential to become an attractive alternative for the North American market.
"Despite the near-term infrastructure questions regarding widespread adoption of natural gas as a heavy duty truck fuel, it is clear this segment will grow over the next several years," said Ron Huibers, president of Volvo Trucks North American sales & marketing.
Through advanced high pressure diesel ignition technology - using trace amounts of diesel to ignite the natural gas - Volvo's LNG engine will deliver a 30% fuel efficiency improvement compared with spark-ignition (SI) engines, making it a viable alternative for demanding long haul applications. The Volvo 13L LNG engine will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 20% compared with current diesel products.
The company's proprietary Volvo I-Shift automated mechanical transmission also will be available for customers to specify.
The Volvo Group has also conducted field tests of trucks equipped with DME. The strong results - from ten vehicles operating in a variety of applications in Europe - indicate DME holds much promise as a heavy truck fuel, and could become a viable alternative in North America to CNG or LNG when it comes to performance, environmental impact, safety and distribution.
Copyright 2012 Aroq Limited. All Rights Reserved.
(Originally published May 22, 2012, by just-auto global news.)