Volvo waste trucks - meeting 2011 emissions standards

Friday, 14 August, 2009

Taking to the Flemington race track in Melbourne, a group of journalists competed in the recent Volvo Waste Management Masterclass 2009 event. It was a good way to take a firsthand look at the latest Volvo FE waste truck range which is claimed to be the cleanest, quietest and safest available.

Having had no previous experience driving garbage trucks, I can tell you they are certainly quiet and easy to drive. With a minimum amount of instruction, I was able to manoeuvre around the track without killing anyone. I even managed to win the Front Loader precision driving award, and the trophy is now going straight to the pool room.

Being compliant with Euro 5 regulations, the trucks can deliver 2011 exhaust emission standards, reducing nitrogen oxide emissions by 43% compared to current Euro 4 regulations. This was one of the factors that impressed the City of Whittlesea council, located north of Melbourne, when it recently added eight Volvo garbage trucks and four recycling collection trucks to its waste management fleet.

During the tendering process the council added a clause that “environmental initiatives will be viewed favourably.” This gave applicants the scope to put their best options on the table. In the end, the council was prepared to pay the 2% premium for the Euro 5, choosing the Volvo trucks because of all the added benefits.

"Euro 5 will become the Australian standard in 2011 and our councillors were keen to take the opportunity and make a real step forward and reach that standard of reduced harmful emissions now,” Council Director of Infrastructure and Technology Neill Hocking said.

Mark Hughes from Volvo said there was now no reason to wait until 2011 for Euro 5. The trucks are ready now and emit 80% less PM than Eu3, 60% less NOx than Eu3 and 43% less NOx than Eu4.

Available late 2009 is Volvo’s EEV - Enhanced Environmentally-friendly Vehicle, which is a simple, inexpensive software upgrade to existing Eu5 engines. It offers even greater reductions in harmful gases, versus Eu5, in transient cycles including: 46% less Hydrocarbons (HC); 25% less Carbon Monoxide (CO); 33% less particulates or soot; and 70% less smoke (ELR).

With truck emissions standards forever tightening, Volvo is working on the road towards CO2-neutral transport. Energy efficiency developments such as hybrids and engine optimisation, as well as renewable energy alternatives such as methane-diesel, DME, biodiesel blends and synthetic diesels are currently under development for the future.

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