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Prime Mover Magazine

Volvo weighs in on alternative fuel debate

Volvo Trucks has declared that Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) could be a competitive vehicle fuel and is therefore intensifying its development of gas-powered trucks for heavy regional and long-haul operations.

The announcement follows changing emissions regulations in the EU and US, according to Lars Mårtensson, Director Environment and Innovation at Volvo Trucks.

"Many of our customers and their customers already work hard to reduce their environmental footprint," said Mårtensson.

"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.

"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."

Natural gas is a fossil fuel that produces 20 per cent lower CO2 emissions than diesel, Volvo said, adding it is possible to carry larger quantities of LNG to ensure the necessary operating range for long-haul assignments.

The long-term availability of natural gas is excellent in a global perspective, Volvo said, which is an important condition for large-scale expansion, along with a competitive price.

A strategy for expanding LNG infrastructure is also included in the European Commission's and member states' action packages for securing Europe's long-term energy supply.

"All told, this makes liquefied gas the best widely available climate alternative on the market for long and heavy transports," said Mårtensson.

"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."

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