10th May 2021
Most energy efficient trucks in 2021
As every industry across the globe tries to become greener, so does the haulage sector. Trucks are not known for their low carbon footprint – but all that is changing. As more companies launch electric trucks and the Government’s Road-to-Zero Strategy
is in full swing, the industry is only getting cleaner. In this article, we’ll be reviewing both gas-powered and electric trucks, as well as the most fuel-efficient diesel vehicles.
Two types of gas can be used to fuel vehicles – liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG). LNG is often cheaper than diesel and can be purchased in large quantities, while CNG has lower production costs. Both have a significantly lower carbon footprint than fossil fuels. Because of this, gas-powered trucks are often considered the most commercially viable and accessible alternative to diesel.
Gas-powered trucks are probably the most accessible form of HGVs that don’t rely on fossil fuels. They’re easy to refill, their fuel can be cheaper than diesel, and they have a lower carbon footprint than traditional vehicles.
Volvo FM LNG
The Swedish manufacturer has released a range of gas-powered trucks using LNG or CNG. Designed with a range of functions in mind, including regional and long-haul transportation, these trucks can reduce emissions by either 20% or 100%.
Volvo’s FM LNG is suited for regional transport – it's the gas-powered equivalent of the brand’s classic and popular FM model. As the name suggests, the vehicle is powered using LNG but promises the same performance and comfort as its diesel counterpart, using the same engine technology. The powertrain provides 420hp or 460hp offerings and three tank sizes, with an operating range of up to 1,000km.
Volvo FH LNG
The Volvo FH LNG, similar to the FM LNG, has a diesel counterpart. The manufacturer once again promises the same range and performance as the original FH, but with 20% fewer emissions. This vehicle is best suited for long-haul journeys, with an operating range of up to 1,000km due to the G13C engine’s efficiency. You can also select between 420hp or 460hp. We’re recommending both the FH LNG and FM LNG, as selecting the perfect one for you simply depends on how far you plan on travelling.
At the end of 2020, Volvo reported
a rise in the demand for its gas-powered trucks across Europe due to the fuel’s lower price and the increasing awareness around environmental efficiency and separation from fossil fuel reliance.
IVECO Stralis NP 460
IVECO’s gas offering promises to serve both regional and international transport. According to the manufacturer, its Stralis NP 460 is suitable for many purposes “from volume transportation to swap body applications, all the way to ADR and construction logistics”.
The vehicle can use either LNG or CNG, depending on what tank you choose to fit. The tank can also be long or short and left or right mounted. The vehicle’s namesake reflects its horsepower, with 460hp that can power up to 1,600km of range. While offering strong performance, the truck has up to 9% lower TCO2 than diesel trucks. As well as being more environmentally friendly, the Stralis NP 460 also promises to be quieter than its diesel alternatives.
If you’re wanting to keep up with the latest technologies, then EVs are the trucks for you. Kitted out with lithium-ion batteries, these trucks offer range and power without any fuel.
However, while many are concerned, they’ll struggle to charge their electric vehicle while on the road, it’s easy to plan your route with charging stations in mind.
The eActros is an exciting and efficient truck, almost ready to take on the roads. The Daimler-Owen manufacturer was one of the first companies in the world to introduce an electric heavy truck. With batteries that send power to the entire vehicle, not just the drive system, the vehicle can be recharged in three to 11 hours, reaching between 20 to 80 kW. The logistics vehicle has 10 variants including the 18-tonne and 25-tonne models, using the same frame as the iconic Actros.
Despite not being accessible to the general public yet – production was initially scheduled for 2021 – we wanted to give this EV an honourable mention. The new production date is due to be set after the pandemic eases.
Volvo FL and FE Electric
Volvo continues to impress us, having released both gas-powered and electric vehicles. The brand offers two-axle and three-axle EV – the Volvo FL Electric and Volvo FE Electric, respectively. The FL has a gross vehicle weight of up to 16 tonnes, while the FE weighs considerably more at 27 tonnes. The lighter of the two has an operating range of up to 300km, while the heavier can travel up to 200km.
We know not everyone is in the market for the most innovative trucks. Some of you want to reduce your emissions – but without the hefty price tag of an EV or gas-powered engine. Here are some of the most fuel-efficient and economical trucks.
Interestingly, some of the best fuel-efficient trucks are the original diesel versions of the vehicles we’ve already looked at – adapting them was a no-brainer!
Mercedes Benz Actros
Mercedes Benz claims its Actros is the most fuel-efficient diesel truck it has created. The vehicle currently holds the Guinness World Record for “Most fuel-efficient 40-ton truck
”, and has done so since 2008. The vehicle uses 19.44 litres per 100 km or 6.88 gallons per 100 miles. You can’t beat that – literally.
Another repeating contender, the Volvo FH is an incredibly fuel-efficient truck. The Volvo FH with I-Save is designed for saving fuel on long haul journeys. Fuel consumption can be reduced by up to 7% using the Fuel Package. Features include I-Shift – software that helps improve engine efficiency – and map-based technology I-See, which uses the vehicle’s kinetic energy to its advantage.
As the world makes its shift towards greener energy consumption, it’s clear to see the haulage industry is not lagging behind.
Read more about the future of trucking here: