Volvo Trucks has introduced new truck software functions as well as upgraded engines to help logistics companies and their drivers save fuel, even when cruise control is not activated, in order to help them reduce operational costs. Truck owners can experience fuel savings of up to 3% with the upgraded D13 diesel engines for Euro 3, Euro 4, Euro 5 and EEV (energy efficient vehicles) markets, together with the new software updates.
“The new software and engine upgrades are introduced to help our customers optimise on fuel consumption and at the same time, save costs. This is important because we understand that fuel costs can make up one of the biggest chunks of a company’s overall operational cost. With today’s challenging business environment, it is understandable that logistics companies everywhere are constantly looking for cost effective ways to operate more efficiently and stay competitive,” said Mitch Peden, Managing Director, Volvo Malaysia.
“Our goal at Volvo Trucks is to offer the most fuel-efficient trucks, anchored with a strategy that revolves around satisfied and productive customers, and these constant upgrades to our trucks portray the strong commitment that we have towards helping our customers’ business succeed,” Peden added.
The upgraded software has a key feature which is called Volvo Torque Assist. This new function is intended to reduce fuel consumption by providing more efficient driving when the cruise control is disabled in long haul operations. By automatically adapting the truck’s torque and acceleration according to the road topography, load and speed changes, this function allows for more fuel-efficient driving. The function is only active when cruise control is not engaged by the driver.
Another supporting function of this feature is that it keeps the amount of injected fuel constant after the engine’s ‘green range’* has been passed. The slightly compromised performance is compensated by improved fuel economy.
Additionally, the pedal map has also been re-calibrated. A less sensitive pedal creates a smoother torque development, which in turn, makes the truck easier to control and maintain vehicle speed.
“The new software gives a more significant result with heavy loads, many slope changes or large speed variations, while drivers transporting lighter loads with constant speed on flat roads will save less fuel. Drivers who are less skilled or trained in economical driving can benefit from these upgrades. In field tests, we have actually seen examples of a larger potential for fuel savings than the 3%,” explains Peter Hardin, Director Product Management at Volvo Truck.
Further, the hardware upgrades in the Euro 6 Step D versions of the D13 engine, released earlier in 2019, are also being used to raise the standards of the Euro 3 to 5 engines. Internal friction has now been reduced with new cylinder liners and new V-shaped oil scraper rings.
The turbo efficiency has also been improved and the engine management system upgraded to a newer version with better capacity. Overall, these hardware upgrades save around 1% fuel, while the fuel saving potential for the new software depends on driver experience and the operating conditions.
Volvo Trucks believes that smarter and more fuel-efficient trucks are becoming a necessity for ensuring a sustainable future, and that technology, product and human behaviour must work together to make it happen. One of its sustainable initiatives is its driver development programme which has been continuously offered to all customers to help drivers learn about fuel-efficient driving techniques. This programme also educates drivers about the significant correlation of fuel-efficient driving and enhanced safety on the road, and how they play a very important role for the entire ecosystem.
For Malaysia, both the software and hardware upgrades are applicable for new truck orders (the Volvo FH, FM and FMX models).
* In vehicles such as tractors and trucks, the tachometer often has a green arc showing the speed range in which the engine produces maximum torque. The green range of Volvo Trucks can be from 1,050 – 1,600 rpm depending on engine types.