HVO biodiesel is now the fuel of choice for all machines at the Volvo CE Customer Center in Eskilstuna, Sweden. HVO is a form of renewable synthetic diesel, its acronym standing for ‘hydrogen-treated vegetable oil’. Forming a small part in the company’s journey towards a more sustainable future, HVO produces barely any trace of CO2. It’s a clean form of fuel, while also remaining in-use performance comparable to regular (petroleum-based) diesel.
Unlike some other biofuels, HVO isn’t particularly sensitive to low or high temperatures, or to exposure to sunlight. Also, due to the use of hydrogen in the production process, HVO has an impressive shelf life, compared to other biodiesel.
Using HVO means that Volvo can significantly reduce its CO2 emissions at the Customer Center, as well as demonstrating to guests how well the fuel works in practice. A conversation with Karl Serneberg, Director of Marketing, Volvo CE, shed light on Volvo’s eco-focused decision. “Not only does the fuel-in-use have a very low carbon footprint, we also looked at HVO from a total supply chain perspective, and source it from the closest possible producer, making the overall environmental impact even more positive,” he said.
SUPPLY AND DEMAND
A key aspect of why HVO wasn’t implemented sooner is due to availability. HVO is a relatively new fuel that wasn’t widely available until recently, so establishing a consistent supply was paramount before proceeding with a full implementation.
Serneberg commented, “Volvo CE approves all of our machines to run on HVO. No special modifications to the engine are required, and they work just as efficiently on HVO as they do with regular diesel … we have been using HVO at the Customer Center since last summer. Before we could do that there were some practicalities to get sorted, for instance cleaning the oil tanks. Then, the first delivery of HVO was at the end of August, and we have been successfully running our machines at the Center on HVO ever since.”
HVO is now more easily accessible for customers to source, and the difference in price compared to normal diesel is dropping. The fuel uses the same type of tanks and pumps, making the switch to this fuel almost unnoticeable to the customer.
THE FUTURE OF HVO FOR VOLVO
The use of HVO at the Customer Center is more than an ‘eco trial’ for Volvo CE. Machine demonstrations will continue to solely use HVO and its use will be highlighted in the presentations, thereby encouraging customers to become more eco-efficient in their own operations. “Volvo strives to create a more sustainable world,” Serneberg said. “It’s all part of the bigger journey we are on, driving Volvo CE into a cleaner future and building the world we want to live in.”
Source | Images: Volvo CE.