Volvo says its 2014 Greenhouse Gas-Certified Engines are providing even greater fuel efficiency than anticipated.
Exclusively for the automobile transport, Volvo Trucks’ Volvo Autohauler (VAH) is a day cab with a lower chassis than standard models and a short bumper-to-back-of-cab dimension.
“We remain focused on ensuring that the ongoing phases of engine and vehicle regulations do not burden our customers, but instead create value for their operations,” said Göran Nyberg, president of sales and marketing for North America for Volvo Trucks in remarks at last week’s Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS).
He said the “introduction of our SCR-equipped models yielded a 5 percent fuel efficiency increase, and we’re pleased to announce that our 2014 engine lineup is delivering up to an additional 3 percent savings.”
A combination of in-lab and on-road testing proved that the initially announced fuel efficiency figures of up to 2 percent understated the true fuel savings and value of 2014 Volvo engines, he said.
“Fuel efficiency remains top-of-mind across the industry, but there’s no one-size-fits-all solution that will deliver massive improvements. Every drop counts.
“On average, a 1 percent fuel efficiency improvement amounts to annual savings of more than $650 per truck. Carriers ignoring opportunities for incremental fuel efficiency gains are leaving money on the table.”
Refinements and design changes contributing to fuel efficiency improvements in Volvo’s 2014 D11, D13 and D16 engines include:
- Low-friction cylinder improvements, including a redesigned piston, liner and oil scraper ring developed with smoother surfaces.
- A clutched air compressor which reduces engine load by completely disengaging the clutch from the engine when not in use.
- Advanced combustion technology of a new seven-hole injector. This offers better fuel atomization for a more even distribution of fuel within the cylinder, “maximizing fuel efficiency and offering a greater savings for customers,” Nyberg said.
- An improved crankcase ventilation system that filters more oil from blowby gases before they leave the engine and at the same time improves engine backpressure for better performance.
Along with fuel efficiency improvements, a two-piece valve cover on the D13 engine improves serviceability, helping reduce repair time and is easier to handle than previous covers, noted Nyberg. Volvo also removed lead from the valvetrain of its 2014 engines to reduce its environmental impact.
In addition to the fuel efficiency gains delivered with 2014 Volvo engine technology, Volvo Trucks’ XE (exceptional efficiency) powertrain boosts fuel efficiency by up to an additional 3 percent.
Available on Volvo VNM and VNL models equipped with 2014 Volvo engines, the XE11, XE13 and XE16 packages improve fuel efficiency by lowering engine rpm at a given vehicle speed, a concept known as downspeeding.
Possible through the combination of Volvo’s standard I-Shift automated manual transmission and Volvo engine with modified software, XE allows the engine to cruise about 200 rpm less than the average truck sold today.
Fuel efficiency improves by about 1.5 percent for every 100 rpm of downspeeding, so customers spec’ing the XE package can expect up to a 3 percent improvement when compared with another overdrive transmission in a similar operation, said Nyberg..
Demand for XE powertrain packages has grown each year since the initial introduction of XE13 for the D13 engine.
In 2013, about 87 percent of all Volvo trucks invoiced in the U.S. and Canada were specified with a Volvo engine. Of that population, 23 percent featured XE powertrain packages.