The main feature on the Iveco stand in Amsterdam is the new Stralis LNG. In vehicles using CNG technology (Compressed Natural Gas), the methane is stocked in gas form in steel tanks at a pressure of 200 bars. In LNG vehicles the natural liquified gas is stored in liquid form at -125ºC, in cryogenic tanks, and is fed to the engine as natural gas in gaseous form, after been heated in a heat exchanger.
In addition to the considerable advantages in terms of reduced emissions, which the CNG technology already guarantees, the LNG system also enables a reduction in terms of unladen weight and an increase in useful load. Furthermore, the use of natural gas-powered vehicles, whether CNG or LNG, represents a considerable economic asset for customers.
In fact for regional distribution missions it has been estimated that savings of up to 10,000 Euros are possible compared with a traditional Diesel-powered vehicle, over a distance of approximately 40,000 km per year. On refuse collection and recycling missions it is estimated that the saving can be up to 20,000 Euros per year.
The market opportunities for these vehicles are particularly strong in food and beverage delivery, among logistics operators and firms engaged in night-time delivery, where the reduction of noise levels is guaranteed by spark ignition engines. On average the noise reduction for gas fuelled Stralis vehicles is between 3 and 6 decibels compared to a vehicle with the same power rating running on diesel fuel.
Recently, these vehicles have been tested by important European customers: the results are positive and the potential uses of this segment are consequently much wider and include a variety of delivery missions.
The vehicle on show in Amsterdam is a two axle tractor unit with semi-trailer, Cursor 8 natural gas engine with a power rating 330 HP, manual gearbox, production line Intarder and EBS. It is built for applications carrying between 18 and 40 tons. This version is ideal for regional and national routes, such as fuel transportation.
The LNG models will soon also be available in the 2 and 3 axle rigid versions for urban and out of town missions. They are equipped with 16 speed manual transmissions and a hydraulic breaking system. Alternatively they can be specified with a 6 speed automatic transmission with hydraulic torque converter and integrated retarder. The natural gas Cursor 8 engine complies with Euro VI emission legislation which will come into force in 2014.