Fuel consumption and exhaust emissions
In this chapter:
Switching to renewable fuels is one of the keys to reducing the climate impact of the transportation industry. Renewable fuels are produced from a renewable source, such as biomass, hydro, wind or solar energy, and production processes that add no excess carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
The Volvo Group demonstrated its ability to produce carbon dioxide-neutral vehicles already in 2007 when it produced seven demonstration trucks each running on a different renewable fuel. The technology for achieving carbon dioxide-neutral transport is already available, leaving the main challenge in the availability of the fuels.
In the foreseeable future there will not be a single successor to fossil fuel but a range of alternative and renewable fuels, with different fuels being used in different parts of the world.
Methane diesel truck
In February 2012 the Volvo Group began series production of the Volvo FM Methane Diesel truck.
The Volvo Group is the first manufacturer to have an efficient diesel engine fuelled by a mixture of methane and diesel, and the first manufacturer in Europe to start selling gas-powered trucks for long-haul operations.
It can use up to 75 percent methane and considerably reduce carbon dioxide emissions from heavy and long-distance transport operations. Compared with traditional diesel operations, carbon dioxide emissions can be cut by up to 70 percent when powered with biomethane.
The first markets to receive this new technology truck were Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK – where the infrastructure and distribution for methane is established. Sales in other parts of the world will follow. There are very ambitious targets set for the methane distribution in several countries including the US and some parts of Europe.
Methane diesel snow sweepers
Volvo Construction Equipment has, together with ABEI Schmidt, developed an airport snow sweeper powered by a Volvo engine using methane diesel technology. It is the first snow sweeper that uses biogas as the primary fuel source in an energy-efficient way.
The snow sweeper consists of a Volvo A25 articulated hauler front unit with a snow plow and a rear machine with a brush and blower driven by a Volvo Penta engine. The methane diesel technology has been transferred from the Volvo truck business and combines the high energy efficiency of a regular diesel engine and the use of renewable biogas as the primary fuel.
By the end of 2012 Volvo Construction Equipment had delivered close to 50 articulated hauler front units for snow sweepers.