Volvo Trucks Spotlights the Present and Future of North American Alternative Fuel Technology

Volvo trucks powered by compressed natural gas (CNG) and dimethyl ether (DME) will be on display this week at the Alternative Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo, North America's largest alternative fuel and clean vehicle technology conference. The vehicles highlight Volvo Trucks’ leadership in alternative fuel and driveline development.

The CNG- and DME-powered Volvo VNL models at the show are a just two offerings in Volvo’s robust alternative fuel lineup.  Volvo announced June 6 that it would commercialize DME-powered vehicles in 2015 as part of its comprehensive “Blue Power” alternative fuels strategy for North America. 

Volvo currently offers VNM and VNL daycabs powered by spark-ignited gas engines, and VNL daycabs 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.”

DME mirrors the exceptional 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 percent CO2 reduction compared with diesel. DME has been used around the world for decades as a cooking fuel and as an aerosol propellant in cosmetics and other household products.

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

Customers can order a natural gas-powered version of the Volvo VNL daycab powered by compressed or liquefied natural gas. The VNL daycab is equipped with a 12-liter Cummins Westport ISX12 G engine.

Volvo recently announced plans to begin producing DME-powered trucks in 2015 for the North American market. The fuel mirrors the exceptional performance qualities and energy efficiency of diesel and burns clean without producing any soot.

Volvo Trucks North America’s operations and products are guided by the company’s three core values: Quality, Safety and Environmental Care. The Volvo VNM, VNL, VNX, VHD and VAH 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. The New River Valley Plant is certified to ISO50001 energy standards. Both plants are certified to ISO14001 environmental and ISO9001 quality standards.

The Volvo Group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks, buses, construction equipment and marine and industrial engines. The Group also provides complete solutions for financing and service. The Volvo Group, which employs about 115,000 people, has production facilities in 19 countries and sells its products in more than 190 markets. In 2012, the Volvo Group’s sales amounted to $45 billion. The Volvo Group is a publicly-held company headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden. Volvo shares are listed on OMX Nordic Exchange Stockholm and are traded OTC in the U.S. For more information, please visit or if you are using your mobile phone.

June 24, 2013