As a resource-conserving, less harmful fuel with low CO2 emissions, natural gas is becoming increasingly important. Forecasts indicate that 65 million gas-powered vehicles will be on the roads in 2020. The infrastructure of filling stations is also developing, with some 3000 filling stations for compressed natural gas (CNG) available today in Europe and 22,000 worldwide.
MAN is therefore expanding its range of CNG vehicles, adding trucks with CNG drives to its established range of natural gas city buses in 2016. At the IAA 2014, MAN is giving a preview of the CNG technology in trucks with a TGM distributor chassis. The 18-tonner is driven by a six-cylinder CNG engine with 280 hp from 6.9 l displacement and is equipped with a 12-speed MAN TipMatic gearbox. The Euro 6 turbo engine has a maximum torque of 1150 Nm and thus provides the same tractive force as a diesel engine of this performance class.
The tank at the IAA exhibit holds 140 kg of natural gas, which is stored in eight compact aluminium tanks with carbon coating. Steel tanks able to hold up to 140 kg natural gas are also available. This tank capacity allows 18-tonners to cover some 400 km in distributor urban transport and around 700 km on secondary roads. CNG trucks are therefore not only of interest to municipalities with gas-powered bus fleets and their own filling stations. The economic advantage of CNG vehicles is that the fuel costs are around 20–35% lower than those of a diesel vehicle, depending on the application.
In addition, the TGM with CNG drive is up to 3 dB quieter in interior noise and accelerated drive-by. This value means the sound intensity is halved.
Therefore, CNG vehicles are particularly suitable for tasks in cities and usage in the early morning or late in the evening, for which there are particular noise restrictions. CNG trucks can be used for food and coolant transportation in the distribution segment, parcel services and as retail delivery trucks. The use of municipal vehicles for waste collection is typical in the industry. As a manufacturer of CNG vehicles, MAN can build on more than 40 years of experience and has sold more than 8000 natural gas buses, chassis and natural gas engines for energy generation in this time. The innovative five-door articulated city bus Lion’s City GL CNG is ‘Bus of the Year 2015′.