Volvo Trucks shows off present and future alternative-fuel offerings

WASHIINGTON, DC. Volvo Trucks is putting both its current offerings as well as a look into the future on display this week at the Alternative Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Washington, DC.

Volvo will be showing both compressed natural gas and dimethyl ether (DME) tractors at the show.

Volvo currently offers VNM and VNL day cabs powered by spark-ignited gas engines. VNL day cabs equipped with Volvo’s proprietary D13-LNG compression ignition engine will be available in 2014.

“The trucks we’re showcasing highlight our comprehensive alternative fuels strategy for North America,” said Ed Saxman, Volvo Trucks alternative fuels product manager. “Interest in natural gas-powered trucks continues to boom, and we’re working to address demand from all segments of the market. We’re also excited about the potential of DME, which has proven to be an excellent fuel for heavy-duty trucks.”

Volvo just recently announced it would start production of DME-powered VNL models in 2015 as part of its Blue Power alternative fuels strategy.

According to the company, DME mirrors the performance qualities and energy efficiency of diesel and burns clean without producing any soot, so no diesel particulate filter (DPF) is necessary. It’s non-toxic and non-carcinogenic and can be made from natural gas or a variety of sustainable feedstocks, like biogas from food and animal waste, landfills and grass clippings. When produced from biomass or biogas, DME can provide up to a 95% CO2 reduction compared with diesel.

Volvo’s D13-LNG and D13-DME engines will be based on the Volvo D13 engine, and the Volvo I-Shift automated manual transmission will be standard on both models.

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