Volvo trucks to run on LNG

New technology will offer Euro 6-compliance for long haul operations

Volvo trucks to run on LNG
A Volvo FH LNG truck.


Liquid natural gas and biogas is being introduced to the latest Volvo trucks in order to bring them into line with Euro 6 compliance standards.

The Volvo FH LNG and FM LNG will boast the same performance and fuel consumption of Volvo’s diesel-powered trucks, the company says.

Available in 420hp (313kW) and 460hp (343kW), the trucks are expected to result in 20-100 per cent lower CO2 emissions, depending on the choice of LNG or bio-LNG, according to the manufacturer.

The trucks are powered by gas engines utilising Diesel cycle technology, rather than the Otto cycle typically used for gas-powered vehicles.

The 460hp gas engine delivers maximum torque of 2300Nm, with the 420hp version giving 2100Nm.

Volvo director of environment and innovation Lars Mårtensson says both the climate and balance sheets will win with the new engines.

"We can now offer an alternative with low climate impact that also meets high demands on performance, fuel efficiency and operating range," Mårtensson says.

"This is a combination that our customers in regional and long haulage require." 

Truck tanks are filled with LNG, with the biggest fuel tank variant containing enough LNG for a range of up to 1,000km.

The fuel is warmed up, pressurised and converted into gas while driving, before being injected into the engine. To ignite the gas a small amount of diesel is added at the moment of injection. 

With Europe leading the world in efforts to reduce carbon emissions Volvo is looking to expand its LNG fleet across the continent, something that is supported politically by the EU.

While Australia has been slower to adopt LNG technology there is movement towards less reliance on fossil fuels that is likely to make alternatives like LNG increasingly appealing.

"Natural gas offers clear climate upsides, it competitively priced in many countries and there are sufficient reserves to justify large-scale use," Mårtensson says.

"Our focus on LNG vehicles is creating new prerequisites for our customers to run fuel-efficient and cost-efficient operations. At the same time, we’re making it possible for heavy truck operations to considerably reduce their climate impact."

Volvo FM LNG and FH LNG truck sales will begin next year.

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