Given the current situation with Russia and the interruption of natural gas supplies across Europe, you could be forgiven for thinking that the gas-powered truck is set to become a piece of motoring history.
Nonetheless, you would still be mistaken. The real win from a gas-engined truck is not the use of slightly cleaner and slightly cheaper (usually) fossil gas, but in running the vehicles on Biomethane. Methane is usually a by-product of something smelly rotting away and is sent into the atmosphere. This is a bad thing as it contributes more to global warming than CO2. The methane is a lot less damaging when burnt – especially when burning it substitutes burning diesel.
You could argue that a truck running on Biomethane is making a positive contribution to the environment. The manufacturers leading the charge with gas-engined trucks are Scania, Volvo and Iveco.
The current backdrop of expanding infrastructure and growing supplies of biomethane gas has generated higher demand, especially for long-haul tractors with the kind of range figures you normally only expect from diesel trucks. Scania is now adding several new CBG and LBG tank options to its offer that mean substantial improvements to the range potential.
“Scania has been relentless in offering and informing customers about the potential of biogas solutions,” says Stefan Dorski, Senior Vice President and Head of Scania Trucks. “With these additions we increase not only the range but also the potential customer base, since biomethane trucks are essential for meeting the short and midterm demand for fossil-free transports.”
The infrastructure of filling stations for liquefied biomethane and other types of fuels for gas vehicles has definitely reached a critical mass, and not only in Europe. By adding various tank solutions to its existing offering, Scania is demonstrating its strong support for renewable fuels as an important part of driving the shift towards a sustainable transport system.
Gas vehicles are becoming increasingly popular all over Europe, but markets such as Spain, Italy, France, Germany and Eastern and Central Europe are at the forefront. Customers have noted all the benefits they can get from Scania’s gas-powered vehicles, such as lower operating costs and reduced CO2 emissions when using biomethane (LBG or CBG).
Gas-powered trucks are also an important cornerstone in Scania’s adherence to its Science-Based Targets, the company’s commitment to reducing the CO2 emissions from its products by 20% overall between 2015 and 2025.
“Increasing the potential tank capacity for different applications takes out what used to be an Achilles heel in the eyes of some prospective customers,” says Dorski. “Our expanded offer, increased flexibility of the chassis layout and the many new gas filling stations spells a bright future for gas-minded customers. And their range anxieties can now finally be put to rest.”
Scania’s latest additions to its gas solutions portfolio:
- LBG tanks for ranges up to 1 400 km
- CBG tanks for ranges up to 750 km
- 80-litre CBG tanks that can be combined, freeing up one frame side
- CBG tanks in a rack behind the cab: offers increased range in combination with tanks in regular positions. Ranges up to 1 000 km on tractors with axle distances ≥ 3 900 mm (Södertälje to Berlin)
- LBG tanks that offer extra, free space in front of the tanks, beneficial for bodybuilders, and allowing for specialised solutions like Hendrickson support axles in A6x2/2 pusher configurations in the UK.
All these new performance steps will be introduced during 2022.
“Scania believes that the transformation towards e-mobility will happen gradually during this decade and the next,” says Dorski. “But combustion engines running on biomethane or other fossil-free fuels will contribute their fair share in reducing noise, emissions and CO2, while at the same time offering great total operating economy and excellent customer value.”
In March, the European Commission announced a decision to double its objective for home-grown biomethane production, with the target set at 35 billion cubic metres by 2030.