Volvo Trucks North America, after concluding truck and engine lab testing, has approved the use of renewable diesel fuel for all of its proprietary Volvo engines, offering environmental and cost-savings benefits to customers. Volvo officials say their company is the first truck OEM to endorse the use of advanced hydrocarbon renewable diesel fuel.
“Environmental care is a core value of Volvo Trucks, and we are pleased to offer our customers another alternative fuel choice,” said Frank Bio, director-sales development, specialty vehicles and alternative fuels for Volvo Trucks North America. “Availability of renewable diesel fuel is growing in California and throughout the country. Renewable diesel meets the same ASTM D975 standard for petroleum diesel, making it a true ‘drop in’ fuel.”
Renewable diesel fuel is a second generation alternative fuel and is derived from biomass feedstocks, including oils or animal fats. Unlike conventional biodiesel, which is produced through a transesterification process, renewable diesel is made through a different process using the same feedstocks. The resulting fuel has a much lower cloud point, which improves the low temperature performance issues commonly associated with conventional biodiesel.
There are multiple benefits to using renewable diesel fuel as a commercial transportation fuel. It has the potential to improve the environmental impact of vehicle operation, reducing particulate matter for pre-EPA 2010 engines. Renewable diesel also requires less maintenance when compared with other alternative fuels, and there is no warranty risk for using renewable diesel fuel to power any Volvo truck equipped with a Volvo engine.
The addition of renewable diesel as an approved fuel for Volvo models is in line with the company’s longstanding focus on the environment since it allows vehicle owners to reduce CO2 emissions beyond those coming from the fuel economy improvements in the vehicle itself. According to the California Air Resources Board, the Life Cycle Analysis of renewable diesel under the Low Carbon Fuel Standard showed reductions in greenhouse gases by 15%-80% depending on feedstock source. It also increases Volvo’s options for alternative fuels.
Volvo currently offers natural gas-powered versions of its VNL and VNM daycabs, which are built at Volvo’s New River Valley assembly plant in Dublin VA, where all Volvo Trucks sold in North America are built. The Volvo VNL model features a 12-liter Cummins-Westport ISX12 G engine and the VNM daycab is powered by a factory-installed 8.9 liter Cummins ISL G engine.
Volvo’s commitment to environmental care extends beyond products. On December 1, Volvo Group North America joined 153 US companies in support of the American Business Act on Climate Pledge, to demonstrate the truck builder’s ongoing commitment to climate action.