Volvo Trucks is testing an idea that's complex and, quite frankly, so uncommon that we uncovered just a handful of vehicles that have motored down the road in a similar way. The truckmaker is field testing methane-diesel long-haul trucks that run on liquefied natural gas (LNG), but the LNG is just one part of the equation. The trucks burn LNG and diesel in a ratio of 75-25 (LNG-diesel). Testing has shown that trucks equipped with the LNG-diesel setup have an operating range of 311 to 621 miles, which is twice the operating range of CNG-diesel trucks and up to four times more than long-haul gassers.

For testing purposes, Volvo has fielded three FM trucks with Euro 5-compliant, 13.0-liter diesel engines that have been modified for LNG operation. Volvo's reasoning behind developing this complex system is actually quite simple. The company envisions a future where long-haul trucks operate on renewable biogas and biodiesel, which reduces our dependence on oil and lowers overall emissions. Lars Martensson, environmental director at Volvo Trucks, describes the importance of weening the world's vehicles off oil in this way:
Increased use of gas is a bridge towards climate-neutral transports. Biogas production is already taking off in many countries. We're currently in a transition period, moving from decades of dependence on oil to a society built on renewable fuels. When trucks can operate on 80 percent pure biogas and 20 percent pure biodiesel, carbon emissions will be 80% lower than with conventional diesel technology.
Hit the jump for more on Volvo's field trial of the methane-diesel long-haul trucks.

[Source: Volvo Trucks]

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