Volvo to test methane diesel trucks in Sweden 27 January 2010

Next month, Volvo Trucks will be starting field trials of its methane-diesel engines in commercial operation with seven Swedish users and an eighth still to be announced.

"We are doing this to offer the market a superior combination of environmental properties, energy efficiency, driveability and low maintenance costs," explains Gunnar Ekwall, product manager for Volvo Trucks in the Nordics.

Ekwall believes that as the network of biogas stations expands, the market is already showing "far greater interest" in better gas-powered vehicles – and hence the trials, which involve two Volvo 7-litre models, the Volvo FL and Volvo FE, running on a mixture of methane gas and diesel oil..

"In addition to lower fuel consumption, methane diesel technology also brings higher reliability and lower maintenance costs," insists Ekwall.

In fact, he claims that Volvo's approach offers the benefits of gas power combined with a diesel engine's estimated 35% higher efficiency rating, compared with an engine using spark plug ignition.

"The driver can always continue driving on diesel fuel alone, if no gas is available. This makes it a practical and realistic alternative for many customers, especially in areas where the gas distribution infrastructure is not yet fully established," he adds.

Brian Tinham

Related Companies
Volvo Group UK Ltd

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