Volvo Trucks deploys FH LNG trucks in exclusive one-time pilot with Linde Canada

Published: Monday, November 20, 2023

Volvo Trucks North America has teamed up with Linde Canada Inc., a leading industrial gas and engineering company, in an exclusive, one-time pilot, using five Volvo FH LNG (liquified natural gas) powered trucks.

Volvo Trucks, one of the leading heavy-duty truck manufacturers in North America, first launched its LNG product offering in 2017 with serial production beginning in 2018 for the European markets. The trucks demonstrated exceptional torque, performance and durability while reducing CO2 emissions.

The Volvo FH gas-powered trucks, known for high reliability and customer approval, are designed for long haul transport with up to 60 tons GCW (132,277 lbs) and up to 500 hp with up to 1,000 km range (621 miles).

Combined with Westport’s high-pressure direct gas-injection system, these vehicles offer the same drivability, performance, and torque levels as diesel engines, but with drastically lower CO2 emissions.

“By embracing innovative technologies, Volvo Trucks continues to lead the shift in reducing CO2 emissions and bolstering environmental benefits through sustainable fuel options, including battery-electric, and fuel cell hydrogen,” said Paul Kudla, managing director for Canada, Volvo Trucks North America.

“Volvo’s LNG fueling approach – widely adopted in Europe – has proven its effectiveness in reducing CO2 emissions, offering fleets both a sustainable and efficient solution. We are excited to enable Linde Canada to move forward with this one-time pilot project utilizing their extensive experience with LNG vehicles and existing fueling infrastructure,” Kudla added.

Linde Canada is dedicated to managing its carbon footprint and has set ambitious energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction targets. By integrating the Volvo FH LNG-powered trucks into its operations, Linde Canada aims to capture the performance, CO2 emission reductions, and other operational benefits of LNG-powered tractors in its long-haul operations.

Analyzing the fleet’s performance

Part of the planned evaluation at Linde Canada will mirror the fleet’s routine analysis of vehicle and driver fuel economy and take advantage of its sophisticated logistics and scheduling system that minimizes mileage by providing optimal routing.

The deployment of five Volvo FH models fueled by LNG, featuring options of 420, 460, or 500 hp power ratings with up to 2,500 Nm of torque, will be on the road in Canada later this year. Linde Canada is building its own LNG supply and infrastructure for a seamless integration of the Volvo FH trucks into its fleet.

“Linde is committed to investing in our planet and is moving towards a lower carbon footprint with significant reductions by 2030 and net-zero by 2050,” said Laura Lunt, director, Energy Services, Linde Canada Inc. “Linde is working with Volvo Trucks and importing FH 460 hp Class 8 tractors to operate alongside our existing Volvo Trucks diesel Class 8 tractors on a Canadian trial. We believe LNG technology is one way we will achieve our goals for our transportation fleet.”

Advantages of LNG trucks

The use of LNG as a fuel offers several advantages, including a greater energy density compared to compressed natural gas (CNG) to deliver similar range to diesel and a 20% reduction in tank-to-wheel CO2 emissions compared to diesel.

Additionally, LNG engines enhance the driver’s experience by delivering significant noise reduction, and smoother operating characteristics compared to a diesel equivalent.

“Volvo’s LNG fueling approach has been widely adopted in Europe and LNG is widely used in the global market as a whole so we have full confidence in the success of this pilot project,” said David Johnson, CEO, Westport. “Westport’s goal is to enable its OEM partners’ decarbonization plans with LNG and other internal combustion engine offerings that will continue to be viable solutions for the foreseeable future.”

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Volvo Trucks introduces Turnkey Solutions program to provide fleets full-service EV infrastructure development

Volvo Trucks launched its customer-focused Turnkey Solutions program, a consolidated fleet management process for procuring vendor services, parts, and products for electric vehicle (EV) charging, in addition to outlook planning for incentives, installation, and interfacing with utility companies to streamline solutions for electric vehicle infrastructure development.

The Turnkey Solutions electromobility program has two full-service partners — InCharge Energy and Gilbarco Veeder-Root — and is available to all Volvo Trucks North America customers.

“Identifying sources for charging infrastructure can be an overwhelming task for fleet managers, so now all aspects of EV charging are covered through the Turnkey Solutions program,” Peter Voorhoeve, president, Volvo Trucks North America.

“We simplified the process for customers, allowing them to easily turn to our solution-oriented vendor partners who understand key aspects of the EV charging industry. This makes the electromobility transition easier for fleet managers, allowing them to focus on their daily business operations while a dedicated team solves their infrastructure installation and energization.”

The Turnkey Solutions program manages all aspects of the process to develop charging infrastructure and covers charging hardware, software, permitting, installation, all the interaction with the utility companies, and maintaining charging equipment — every step of the process to get charging infrastructure from order to operation including support with accessing available incentives and writing grant proposals.

Customers can receive quotes from both InCharge Energy and Gilbarco Veeder-Root to support their charging needs and decide which way to move forward for a one-stop-shop solution.

The electromobility transition goes beyond just selling battery-electric trucks, which is why Volvo Trucks developed the Turnkey Solutions program, providing a total transportation solution.

Infrastructure work sometimes starts early to cover lead times, so the program offers customers charging options to allow both to occur in tandem so the charging infrastructure is installed and ready when the trucks are delivered.

When customers sign up for the Turnkey Solutions program, they are paired with a Volvo Trucks dealer who advises them on three pathways for their EV infrastructure development:

  • Designing the customers’ infrastructure plans, presenting funding and financing opportunities, and identifying implementation partners
  • Providing guidance and support to the customer as they manage components of their company’s own program; or
  • Combining the two approaches where the customer manages their own infrastructure development but the charging hardware is acquired through Volvo Trucks’ Vendor Direct Shipping program

The Vendor Direct Shipping program was launched in late 2022 with Heliox and Gilbarco Veeder-Root and complements the Turnkey Solutions program. Through the Vendor Direct Shipping program, customers and dealers can order equipment through the dealership parts portal. Volvo Trucks sales teams can assist customers with the process and determine the type of charger best equipped for the application.

Volvo Trucks recently added InCharge Energy to both the Turnkey Solutions and Vendor Direct Shipping programs. InCharge Energy is one of the industry’s leading developers of commercial EV charging systems, providing solutions tailored to commercial fleets.

With end to end, turnkey commercial EV infrastructure design and development, InCharge Energy can accelerate electrification of the transportation industry with sustainable and scalable solutions.

“By participating in the Volvo Trucks Turnkey Solutions program, we will deliver scalable hardware, software, and service solutions for fleets of two trucks to 5,000 vehicles, and Volvo Trucks’ Vendor Direct Shipping program makes us easier to do business with for fleets,” said Terry O’Day, chief operating officer of InCharge Energy. “The programs and companies complement each other and make the transition to electric charging infrastructure simpler for fleets.”