"We will soon initiate field testing of both methane diesel technology and bio-DME technology," revealed Lennart Pilskog, Volvo Trucks' Director of Public Affairs, at the Energitinget symposium earlier this week. "This is a continuation of Volvo Trucks' 2007 initiative, when the company presented drivable trucks for seven different alternative fuels."
The company is also developing methane diesel technology, with field tests scheduled to begin soon and involving the use of diesel and methane gas (CNG) in Volvo FL and Volvo FE trucks with 7-litre engines.
The next solution is diesel combined with liquid methane gas (LNG). The solution will be field-tested in UK and Sweden on Volvo FM trucks with 13-litre engines.
"Methane gas combined with diesel in a diesel engine offers twice the operational range of a traditional spark ignition gas engine. Liquid methane gas offers four times the operational range of the gas trucks typically used today, making the technology highly attractive for long-haul operations," explains Pilskog. "What's more, if the gas filling stations are too far apart, the truck can continue running on only diesel.”
"We've taken several important steps towards commercializing the technology, and plan to start selling trucks powered by methane gas and diesel in 2011. We'll start with a limited number of trucks with a view to increasing the volumes in 2012," added Pilskog.