5/18/2012 1:45:00 PM
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MIAMI â€” Volvo Trucks plans to introduce a new 13-liter liquefied natural gas engine for its North American over-the-road customers in 2014, the latest development in the fast-growing move to natural gas products, company officials said Friday.
Volvo Group CEO Olof Persson made the announcement during a series of events and press conferences held here as part of the companyâ€™s festivities surrounding the Volvo Ocean Race, the around-the-world sailboat contest that is making its only North American stop here this weekend.
Persson said the new LNG engine â€” which Volvo is developing in conjunction with Westport Innovations â€” will be a diesel injection model, meaning it will use a small amount of diesel to allow combustion to occur through compression, similar to the way existing diesel engines work.
Currently, the only LNG engine Volvo offers is the 9-liter model produced by a partnership of Cummins Inc. and Vancouver, B.C.-based Westport Innovations, a spark-ignited engine. The company also intends to offer a 12-liter spark-ignited model that Cummins has under development.
Volvo also offers compressed natural gas engines for various applications around the world, but he said that fuel is not workable for long-haul trucking, and that the LNG model under development would offer a 30% fuel efficiency gain over CNG.
Persson said LNG has â€œgreat potentialâ€� as a fuel for long-haul trucking, but that Volvo was also working on other technologies that might be easier to use. In the end, he said, itâ€™s up to Volvoâ€™s customers to tell it what kind of fuels theyâ€™d like to burn.
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