Volvo Trucks scores at Bibendum

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — Volvo Trucks North America earned an “A” at the 2003 Challenge Bibendum.

The Volvo VN780 Technology Truck received the highest rating in its class and used the least energy during a test of energy consumption simulating overnight idling. A second Volvo VN displayed advanced emissions control technologies for heavy-duty diesels. Both vehicles demonstrated Volvo’s commitment to and investment in environmental care, one of the company’s three core values, along with safety and quality.

Challenge Bibendum is one of the premier global events for advanced technology vehicles and was established by the Michelin Group as an objective way to bring together and test the best available technologies for environmentally positive vehicles. The annual event features vehicles from major manufacturers on three continents. This year’s competition was held September 23-25 in Sonoma and San Francisco, California. This was the first year heavy-duty trucks participated in the competition.

The VN780 Tech Truck achieved an "A" rating in its category during the idling test by showing how drivers can maintain a comfortable environment in their truck, without using the engine. In many cases, trucks idle so their engines can provide power for vehicle heat, air conditioning or other comfort systems while the driver is resting or sleeping in the cab. This is an inefficient use of the engine, and results in additional emissions and fuel consumption. The test measured the amount of energy consumed by competing heavy-duty trucks during a 12-hour period, and converted it into an equivalent of gallons of diesel fuel consumed per hour.

Reducing truck engine idling (when the engine is running, but the truck is not being driven) has important economic and environmental benefits. The average heavy-duty truck consumes one gallon of diesel per hour while idling, which adds up to an estimated 2,200 gallons per year per truck.

Decreased idling is an important component in reducing overall heavy-duty vehicle emissions. It also allows truck fleets and owner operators to reduce operating costs and unnecessary wear on their trucks by reducing the number of hours their engines operate. Noise from idling can also be an issue in populated areas.

The VN780 Tech Truck demonstrates how drivers can use other methods to produce the energy needed to power their on-board amenities, including shore power (electricity from an outside source) and an efficient onboard generator. One example of these amenities is an automated climate-control system with the ability to run a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system on AC electrical power. Hot water is produced by an onboard electric water heater. The electrical system also provides power for other amenities, such as a refrigerator, onboard computer with Wi-Fi wireless internet connection, in-dash DVD, and TV/VCR hookups.

Volvo also earned considerable interest in its other vehicle on display at the Challenge Bibendum, a VN daycab testing potential EPA 2007/2010 emissions control technologies. This truck, which operates in daily service in a customer’s fleet, is equipped with a urea injection selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system, a diesel particulate filter and runs on ultra-low sulfur diesel.

Media from North America, Europe, Australia and Asia all requested briefings on the systems, which reflects interest in the global trend to ever-stricter diesel emissions controls.

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