In the North American marketplace for more than a year, Volvo’s No Regen Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology has rapidly become the EPA’10 solution of choice as more and more customers gain experience with the product.
The most tested products in the history of Volvo Trucks North America, Volvo’s EPA’10 trucks with SCR can deliver a 5 percent or more fuel efficiency improvement and near-zero NOx and particulate emissions.
Volvo is part of the first heavy-duty truck manufacturing group to receive EPA’10 certification, without the use of emissions credits, and began filling customer orders with production engines in the fall of 2009.
“Volvo was ready with the EPA’10 technology and in production by September 2009,” said Ron Huibers, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Volvo Trucks North America. “As soon as we received our EPA certification last November, we were able to get the new trucks in the hands of our customers.”
“During the past year, our dealers, customers and drivers have become fans of Volvo’s EPA’10 products,” Huibers added. “We now have thousands in daily operation with customers, providing significant benefits to the industry in terms of emission reduction, fuel efficiency and overall productivity.”
Volvo's EPA’10 solution consists of its well proven and fuel efficient D11, D13 and D16 engines coupled with highly proven SCR exhaust aftertreatment technology.
“Using aftertreatment – removing the targeted oxides of nitrogen or NOx downstream rather than in-cylinder – allows the engine to be retuned for maximum fuel efficiency,” said Ed Saxman, Volvo’s powertrain product manager.
U.S.-based Heritage Transport and Canada-based Challenger Motor Freight were among the first to embrace Volvo’s EPA’10 solution and experience the benefits it has to offer.
Heritage is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Heritage Environmental LLC, a full-service nationwide environmental solutions provider that transports, stores and disposes of hazardous waste materials. Headquartered in Indianapolis, IN, Heritage operates 217 trucks, the majority of which are Class 8 tandem axle box trucks and tandem axle tractors. The company runs a 24-hour/five-days-a-week operation with 115 day cabs and 102 sleepers.
In 2009, Heritage evaluated its options for converting to EPA’10 product and chose Volvo for its leading-edge No Regen SCR technology and commitment to quality, the environment and safety. The company placed an initial order for nine VN 630s with D13 500-hp engines and SCR in August 2009, and will have a total of 32 Volvo EPA’10 trucks operating by the end of this year.
“As a ‘green’ company, we knew we wanted to be among the very first to embrace the new, cleaner trucks,” said Dean DeSantis, president of Heritage Transport. “We came to the conclusion that Volvo’s EPA 2010 solution was leading edge, and we certainly wanted to be a company that was on the leading edge of cleaning up the environment.”
Challenger, too, saw the early adoption of Volvo’s EPA’10 solution as one aspect of its environmental commitment. Headquartered in Cambridge, Ontario, the Challenger Group operates out of LEED®-certified building, is an EPA SmartWay program partner, and strategically uses Longer Combination Vehicles (LCVs) to meet capacity demands while reducing its carbon footprint. The company employs more than 2,300 people and operates approximately 1,500 trucks and 3,300 trailers. It is the largest privately owned truckload carrier in Canada and the sixth largest trucking company in the country.
Challenger put five Volvo SCR-equipped trucks into service for long-haul operations on December 31, 2009. One year later, the company is operating 91 2010 Volvo VNLs. An additional 90 Volvos are on order for 2011.
Like many North American carriers, Challenger’s management knew the move to EPA’10 trucks was inevitable – but had reservations. Before signing on, Challenger CEO Dan Einwechter traveled to Europe to experience Volvo’s SCR technology, already used in hundreds of thousands of trucks around the world, and meet with other carriers.
“That really put my mind at ease about SCR,” Einwechter said. “I am now firmly in the SCR camp. The alternative solutions are unacceptable to me.”
Challenger’s experience with Volvo’s SCR technology has been “exceptional,” according to Einwechter.
“While the long term journey has to be assessed, so far the Volvo EPA’10 engines have been above and beyond what we anticipated,” he said.
“Volvo told us that we would have good engine performance, that the fuel economy would improve and that the use of Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) would pose no problems, even in the very cold temperatures we have in Canada,” Einwechter continued. “Volvo said it, and we experienced it. We’ve had no problems at all.”
SCR works by injecting DEF into the exhaust stream only as required. DEF is nothing more than a mix of two-thirds water and one-third urea, which is a common nitrogen-containing compound. DEF works with the heat of the exhaust and a catalyst to convert NOx into nitrogen and water vapor - two harmless and natural components of the air we breathe.
“The Volvo EPA’10 trucks with SCR are doing a great job for us and the emission system is working just great, trouble free,” agreed Heritage’s DeSantis. “We are very pleased that these trucks are delivering excellent fuel economy across the board, and we have the data to support it. We’ve had no regeneration issues, and frankly, the vehicles have been performing even better than we expected.”
Drivers, too, are satisfied with the new Volvo trucks.
“Other than topping off the DEF every few refuels, the SCR technology is transparent to the driver,” explained Saxman.
When the new trucks were introduced at Challenger, the company focused on educating drivers.
“We spent a lot of time with the teams that were driving the five initial trucks,” said Einwechter. “These early adopters spread the word and we’ve been fine with all our drivers.”
At Heritage, drivers like the maneuverability, power and tremendous torque that the new trucks provide, as well as the ease of the SCR system. Drivers simply refill DEF at their terminals every two or three days.
“Volvo’s EPA’10 solution has been a complete success,” DeSantis said. “It’s a great technology and a great product. It is the right solution to meet the standards.”
Order for Class 8 trucks equipped with EPA’10 certified Volvo Group engines – which include the Volvo D11, D13, and D16 – have already surpassed the 25,000 mark.
Heritage Transport EPA’10 Volvo VN.
Challenger Motor Freight EPA’10 Volvo VN.
Volvo Trucks North America’s operations and products are guided by the company’s three core values: Safety, Quality and Environmental Care. The Volvo VN and VHD trucks are assembled in the United States at the New River Valley Plant in Dublin, Virginia, while Volvo engines for North America are assembled in Hagerstown, Maryland. Both plants are certified to ISO14001 environmental and ISO9001 quality standards.
Volvo Trucks North America is part of the Volvo Group, one of the world's leading manufacturers of trucks, buses and construction equipment, drive systems for marine and industrial applications, aerospace components and services, and one of the world's leading producers of heavy-diesel engines (9-16 liter). The Group also provides complete solutions for financing and service. The Volvo Group, which employs about 96,000 people, has production facilities in 19 countries and sells their products in more than 180 markets. Volvo Group sales for 2009 amounted to approximately $29 billion. The Volvo Group is a publicly-held company headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden. Volvo Shares are listed on Nasdaq OMX Nordic Exchange and are traded OTC in the U.S.
January 6, 2011