Volvo Releases Its FE CNG Truck
When it comes to trucks, few other manufacturers offer a model lineup as wide as the Swedes from Volvo. The newest addition, the Volvo FE CNG, runs on compressed natural gas and has been developed for operations involving short driving cycles with repeated stop and starts, operations such as local distribution and garbage collection & disposal.
Compared to a diesel-fed workhorse, vehicles running on compressed natural gas are that bit greener. With methane making most of the compressed natural gas, this type of fuel can reduce carbon dioxide emissions up to 93 percent if you compare a CNG vehicle to a similarly sized one running exclusively on gasoline. Natural gas vehicles operating in diesel applications can reduce PM10 emission tenfold, but there’s another big advantage to CNG. Because it’s a gas, the fuel tank of a vehicle running compressed natural gas is that bit thicker and stronger. In the United States of America there hasn’t been any natural gas vehicle fuel tank rupture in more than 2 years. So what kind of bits and bobs make up the Volvo FE CNG medium duty truck? Firstly, there’s an all-new 9-liter engine featuring spark plug technology, which is mated to a 6-speed automatic. Although it was designed to run as green as possible, the mill packs 320 horses and 1,356 Nm of torque.
“Spark plug technology is particularly suitable for driving cycles where the truck covers short distances with a lot of start-stop traffic,” declared Christina Eriksson, Volvo Trucks’ alternative drivelines business manager. “With the Volvo FE CNG we can now offer companies that drive predominantly in urban environments a truck with a far lower environmental impact. Many cities the world over are looking for alternatives to diesel-powered trucks. In the field of refuse handling, for example, renewable fuels are often a requirement for securing a contract.”