Volvo Trucks pushes LNG

According to Volvo Trucks, replacing diesel with liquefied natural gas (LNG) is the best way to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in heavy regional and long-haul transport operations. Volvo have announced plans to intensify development of its LNG powered heavy vehicles for operations of this kind.

Volvo argue that in replacing diesel with LNG or biogas, logistics operations can significantly reduce their CO2 emissions from their HGV fleets.

The EU published a regulation that demands a declaration of CO2 release figures from heavy vehicles as of 2019 with the aim of suppressing GHG emissions in the sector.

“This regulation will drive the development of lower emissions, where we see a clear possibility for increasing LNG market shares as a vital part of the solution,” said Lars Mårtensson, director environment and innovation.

“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.”

While LNG is a fossil fuel, Volvo are arguing that it can produce 20% lower CO2 emissions than diesel. Where biogas (methane from rotting rubbish, human and animal waste) this can reduce GHG emissions by up to 100%.

“What is needed now is gas-powered trucks that can compete with diesel in terms of performance and fuel consumption, and continued expansion of LNG infrastructure. In both cases major progress has been achieved,” said Mårtensson.

There are zero emissions technologies being developed, for example solid state batteries and in-road power systems for trucks to take the power they need as they drive but there isn’t the will by even the greenest governments (such as Volvo’s home in Sweden) to fork out on such systems even as they reach maturity in the R&D pipeline. Until GHG emissions become more of an emotive issue in the public’s mind than they are today, then it is likely that fossil fuels will be used in some sectors for time to come – notably in logistics and transport.

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