Volvo backs European ‘blue corridors’ with methane gas-powered trucks

Berlin, Germany: Volvo Trucks showed its Volvo FM Methane-Diesel at the NGV Berlin 2011 Fair as part of the truck makers’ support for ‘blue corridors’ in Europe. These transport corridors are designed to increase the availability of gas on European roads to make it possible to cover longer transport distances with gas-powered trucks.

The Natural and Bio Gas Vehicle Association Europe (NGV) organised the NGV Berlin 2011, which took place this week, as a platform for companies involved in gas for vehicles.

The new Volvo FM Methane-Diesel uses methane gas as its primary fuel with technology that allows methane gas in diesel engines. The technology opens up an entirely new segment for gas-powered trucks and, in combination with the use of LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) in heavy-duty trucks, it makes it possible to use gas for long-distance transport as well, says Volvo.

The FM Methane-Diesel is more energy efficient and more powerful than its current standard gas-powered counterparts, can lead to cost benefits as well as considerably reduce carbon emissions, says Volvo.

Lennart Pilskog, director public affairs at Volvo Trucks says: “The main strength in this context is that the environment, technology and economy go hand in hand. Only then can decisive changes be made.”  However, for these decisive changes to be implemented on a broad front, access to liquid gas must be increased. A well-developed infrastructure, with more LNG filling stations, is essential to enable gas-powered trucks to be used in long-distance transport in the first place, he says.

“The infrastructure needs to keep pace with technological developments if our products are to be used in the optimal way,” Pilskog says.

The Volvo FM Methane-Diesel is powered by up to 75% natural gas or biogas – both of which consist of methane gas and Volvo Trucks is the first manufacturer in Europe to present this technology.

The Volvo FM Methane-Diesel is more energy efficient and more powerful than its current standard gas-powered counterparts. This has been demonstrated since 2008 in commercial fuel tests that have been run in Sweden, the UK and the Netherlands where the infrastructure for liquid gas is most developed.

In many European countries, LNG is also less expensive than diesel, which will result in cost benefits for the customers who choose to operate a Volvo FM Methane-Diesel in the future, says Volvo.