Scania has unveiled its first ethanol-powered trucks, which are designed for urban operations. The company has been producing ethanol buses for more than 20 years and there are vehicles in operation in the UK as well as Sweden, Norway, Spain, Italy, Poland, the and Brazil.
The company says it is now working with other interested parties in establishing an infrastructure for ethanol fuel distribution. Once the fuel infrastructure is in place, it will also be possible for smaller transport companies to invest in ethanol-powered vehicles.
Scania believes ethanol is the most cost-efficient renewable fuel currently available for urban operation, since it can contribute immediately to reducing carbon dioxide emissions and argues that the technology is mature and viable for intense everyday city service.
And it points out that ethanol produced from Brazilian sugar cane can produce up to 90 per cent lower carbon dioxide emissions than diesel fuel. Trial production from forest waste with integrated bioprocesses extracting heat or electric power indicates similarly high results.
Scania’s ethanol engines work according to the principle compression-ignition used in diesel engines and the efficiency of this third generation is up to diesel engine standards. The ethanol used for diesel combustion contains 5-7 per cent additives that improve ignition and lubrication.
Passenger cars running on ethanol or an ethanol/petrol mix have Otto engines with considerably lower efficiency.
Scania says it is the only manufacturer to master this diesel-ethanol technology.
The new ethanol engine is an adaptation of Scania’s 9-litre diesel engine with charge-cooling and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). The engine easily meets the enhanced environmentally friendly vehicle (EEV) standard, which is slightly stricter than Euro 5 ? the exhaust standard being introduced in the European Union in October 2009.
Power is 270 hp and torque a full 1200 Nm, resulting in excellent response and driveability.
Scania has built 600 ethanol-powered city buses since 1989, supplying most of them to Swedish cities with impressive environmental benefits. According to Stockholm Public Transport, there are no operational drawbacks as long as scheduled maintenance requirements are followed. The buses are completely standard, using regular Scania components.
It says further but deliveries are pending to Denmark and Belgium. Interest is growing rapidly in Europe, South Africa and several Latin American countries, while in the United States the ethanol market is booming.