This is a revolutionary step in the development of gas use in heavy vehicles, since trucks running on liquid gas combined with methane diesel technology has up to four times longer driving range compared to most traditional gas trucks.
Three Volvo FM trucks with 13-litre engines are currently being field tested. The technology is based on Volvo's proven Euro 5 diesel engine, which has been converted for gas operation.
The field test trucks are equipped with special tanks for liquefied methane gas. Liquid gas is the optimum fuel for methane diesel technology. When liquid methane and diesel are used in a ratio of 75--25, a truck performing long haul or intercity duties has an operating range 500 to 1000 km, depending on driving conditions. This is twice the operating range of methane diesel vehicles running on compressed gas and four times that of gas trucks with Otto engines.
The field test vehicles are being operated by transport companies DHL, Gotene Kyltransporter and Renova. The start of the field tests coincides with the inauguration of Sweden's first public filling station for liquefied methane gas at Stigs Center in Goteborg. The station is a collaborative project between Volvo Trucks, Fordonsgas Sverige and Goteborg Energi.
Filling stations have previously only existed for CNG (compressed natural gas). If methane gas is cooled down to minus 160 deg C instead of being compressed, it becomes liquid and its volume is reduced by half. In this case, it is called LNG (liquefied natural gas), or LBG (liquefied biogas) if it is a biogas. Both these gases are also called LMG (liquefied methane gas).