For six months Havi Logistics in Italy has been testing one of the most requested transport solutions in years: Scania’s new 13-litre gas engine. It’s a dream come true for operators who want to couple sustainability with profitability.
Scania’s new 13-litre gas engine boasts 410 hp and 2,000 Nm, a performance that is fully comparable to equally sized diesel engines. With LNG (liquefied natural gas) or LBG (liquefied biogas) in its tanks, a typical semitrailer with a gross train weight of 40 tonnes can handle almost 1,100 kilometres before refuelling. The carbon savings of up to 90 percent is an added benefit.
Full of praise for the technology
Daniele Celere, National Transport Manager for Havi Logistics in Italy, is full of praise for the technology in the new engine.
“We are absolutely delighted by the operational economy and consumption, which has allowed us to cut costs related to fuel without affecting the efficiency of our vehicles,” he says. “When comparing the efficiency of this engine with the previous ones, we are very satisfied. The improvements are incredible.”
Trucks with the new gas engine are used for delivering food to McDonald’s restaurants in the city centres of Rome, Milan, Florence and other Italian cities. Usually these deliveries are made at night or very early in the morning, when people are asleep. A growing number of local city regulations are putting stringent limits on levels of CO2 emissions as well as noise. The field test truck with the new gas engine is perfect for these sensitive urban operations.
“We need to reduce noise and emission levels, and we have to be very fast in our deliveries,” Celere explains. “Using these gas trucks is a big step forward in reducing the impact of our deliveries.”
Huge demand for this type of engine
Scania engineer Ines Kasumovic, based in northern Italy, is responsible for following and reporting on the field test. She says she has noticed a huge demand for this type of engine in the market right now. “The all-new 13-litre gas engine is our response to these demands,” she says. “It’s an engine that is really good for both the environment and the customers’ economy.
“We have tested this truck with comparable gas trucks in Havi’s fleet, going the same routes, with the same loads,” she says, “and we have seen remarkable improvements in fuel consumption.”
In her reports back to Scania’s Research and Development in Södertälje, Sweden, Kasumovic has also reported positive feedback from Havi drivers who, because of the lower noise levels, are able to work long hours without getting tired.
One of these drivers, Massimo Cardinali, was chosen among 90 drivers to participate in Scania’s gas engine field test. “It’s so quiet in the cab that I always feel relaxed and in good shape when I come home after a day’s work,” he says.
The front of the test truck is slightly masked, with a sign that says the engine is 340 hp. Only Cardinali, Kasumovic and three specially selected service technicians from Scania know that what’s actually in the truck is the new – and secret – 410 hp gas engine.
“Sometimes I get questions from other truck drivers who can’t understand how my heavily loaded truck can be so powerful,” Cardinali says with a broad smile. “But my lips are sealed.”
Nerio Zurli, Managing Director for Havi Logistics in Italy, could talk forever about the need for sustainable solutions in today’s transport industry.
“Sustainability is a key element of our company culture,” he explains. “It’s very important for us to reduce CO2 emissions and noise when we drive these big trucks in city centres, with all the historical buildings and the many people living and working there. These new gas trucks from Scania will be a highly competitive advantage for Havi.
“We have been collaborating with Scania for many years on Euro 6 gas trucks,” he continues. “With new engines, driver training and continuously monitoring our deliveries in real time, we have been able to reduce CO2 emissions in our operations by around 50 percent between 2015 and 2017.”
Reduction of emissions a must
Participating in the 13-litre engine field test is only one piece of the partnership with Scania that Zurli hopes will continue for a long time.
“Scania is one of the most important partners for us,” he says, “especially as a developer of new technologies for our business. To me, this collaboration is really something we can continue to build on in the future. A continuous reduction of emissions is a must for us, of course. And the collaboration with Scania is a big advantage for us.”