Alternative Fuels Australia

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Bluetec being tested in Australian trucks

Posted by Car Geek on July 2, 2007

Diesel has copped a lot of flak in the media recently as an alternative fuel; some of it is justified, and some of it might make you think the authors are on a crusade. While diesel engines typically have better fuel economy and reduce CO2 emissions, it’s no secret that NOx and more immediately harmful pollutants like particulates are increased, particularly in older engines. That might be about to change, though, with Mercedes’ Bluetec technology.

Six Australian trucks are being tested with the more stringent form of the BlueTec system, which not only uses a catalytic converter to reduce the amount of NOx in the exhaust, but also includes an additive called “AdBlue” which converts the remaining NOx into nitrogen and water vapour. The AdBlue solution is carried in a separate 80 litre tank, maintained at cost to the operators, however the solution is relatively inexpensive compared to other methods of reducing pollutants in diesel engines to the necessary levels. Given the new Australian Design Rules for heavy vehicles coming into effect in January 2008, based on the strict Euro IV regulations, this technology may show up on many more Australian trucks in the near future.

(Source: Daily Telegraph)


Posted in Bluetec, Diesel, Trucks | 1 Comment »

Hino releases hybrid truck

Posted by Car Geek on May 20, 2007

Road freight makes up a significant portion of Australia’s transport emissions, so it’s little wonder heavy vehicle manufacturers are looking for ways to reduce their fuel consumption. The Hino Hybrid, released this week at the Queensland truck and machinery show, shows that some companies in Australia are getting on with the job.

The Hino Hybrid’s recent marathon test run generated a fuel consumption of just 10.9L/100km over 512km of inner-city driving by virtue of combining its 110kW common-rail diesel engine with a 23kW electric motor and a start-stop system that turns the engine off when idling.

In a press release, Hino claimed that the new hybrid truck represented a 20 per cent saving in fuel consumption and 25 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions over similar-sized trucks. Additionally, the new truck reduces particulate emissions by up to 85 per cent.

The truck is designed to be most effective in urban driving conditions, where frequent idling in traffic and at red lights results in inefficient fuel use.

Posted in Diesel, Hybrid, Trucks | 8 Comments »