Volvo to run DME vehicles in North America

DME (dimethyl ether) can be made either from fossil energy such as natural gas or from biologically renewable raw materials such as forestry industry waste. DME is currently produced all over the world, but is used for other purposes than as fuel for vehicles. Today the most common use of DME is for domestic use, such as a propellant in spray-cans and as a fuel for cookers and ovens.

Volvo Trucks has taken a forward leap with vehicles running on alternative fuels. Within a couple of years, trucks running on DME – an energy-efficient fuel with low environmental impact – will be introduced in the North American market.

“It’s clear that DME technology shows great potential for North America and allows Volvo to further its commitment to both our customers and the environment,” says Göran Nyberg, president of Volvo Trucks North American Sales and Marketing.

There are two things above all others that make DME highly interesting as a vehicle fuel. First, it is energy efficient. Secondly, emissions of air pollutants are extremely low. It is currently produced and used all over the world, but for other purposes than as a fuel for vehicles. What is more, DME can be produced from both fossil energy sources and from renewable sources (biomass).

Behind Volvo Trucks’ decision to start commercial production of DME trucks in the USA lies many years of development work, cooperation with scientists and fuel producers and excellent results from field tests in Sweden and North America.

“With high energy-efficiency and good environmental properties, DME is one of the most promising alternatives to today’s diesel fuel. By offering trucks running on DME we also hope to hasten the expansion of DME production and distribution – essential in order to establish a presence on other markets too,” says Lars Mårtensson, director Environmental Affairs at Volvo Trucks.

Volvo’s DME technology in the USA will be available in a Volvo VNL powered by a D13 engine.

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