November 5, 2020. Volvo Trucks Southern Africa has brought in two liquefied natural gas (LNG) trucks to be used for local testing. These gas-powered trucks have specifically been developed for heavy regional and long-haul operations.

“Many of our customers already work hard to reduce their environmental footprint. We therefore see a clear potential for LNG units as a vital part of the solution,” said Marcus Hörberg, vice president of Volvo Group Southern Africa. “Our vision is that trucks from Volvo will eventually have zero emissions, although the way of achieving that is not by one single solution but rather through several solutions in parallel.”

Through fuel-efficient drivelines and chassis configurations, Volvo Trucks’ LNG range makes significant fuel and CO² savings possible. Natural gas is obviously a fossil fuel, but it can produce 20 percent lower CO² emissions than diesel.

“The new gas-powered Volvo FH LNG drives and performs just like the Volvo FH you know,” said Eric Parry, product manager of Volvo Trucks Southern Africa. “The powertrain in the new gas-powered trucks is based on our renowned diesel engine technology.  Also, by using LNG rather than compressed natural gas (CNG), it is possible to carry larger quantities of fuel and thus ensure the necessary operating range for long-haul assignments.”

Volvo’s new gas-powered trucks offer the same fuel efficiency as diesel-powered equivalents and can operate at the same speed. However, since LNG is often cheaper, this offers a good opportunity to reduce fuel costs. With the 205kg LNG tank, European operators are seeing usable range of up to 1000 km; this is dependent on the terrain and payload carried.

“The engine is the heart of any truck,” said Parry. “The gas-powered G13C engine’s efficiency is on a par with diesel and operators can expect the same service intervals, reliability and performance. Just like Volvo’s other Euro 6 trucks, the Volvo FH LNG uses SCR technology with Adblue and a particulate filter for exhaust after-treatment.”

When it comes to the provision of LNG to fleets, new local developments and partnerships in the segment have resulted in the establishment of a limited infrastructure, specifically on the N3 highway between Durban and Johannesburg.