Fuel efficiency has always been a top priority for haulage companies and no more so than today when the bottom line is increasingly under pressure. Any fuel savings, no matter how small, can have a big impact on profitability. Enter Volvo’s new D13TC engine featuring the innovative long haul fuel package, I-Save.
Export &Freight’s Phil Eaglestone was recently invited by the manufacturer to Gothenburg in Sweden to compare the performance of a Volvo FH with the new state-of-the-art engine and I-Save against a similar truck without it.
Demand for transportation across Europe is growing and trucks are covering increasingly longer distances. At the same time, transport operators are faced with rising diesel prices putting pressure on profitability.
So it is not without significance that Volvo claim that by combining the new D13TC engine with updated fuel-saving features, this new solution can cut fuel costs by up to 7% in long-haul operations – without compromising drivability.
“Volvo FH with I-Save is our answer to this challenge. It is a complete solution that combines our latest technology to substantially bring down fuel consumption in long-haul operations. And this is without compromising drivability,” says Roger Alm, President of Volvo Trucks.
During our visit we were given the choice of four separate test routes with journey times of just over an hour long. Trucks at our disposal included Volvo FH 460 4x2Ts and FH 500 4x2Ts, some with and others without the I-Save fuel package.
At the core of Volvo FH with I-Save is the new, state-of-the-art D13TC – Volvo Trucks’ most fuel-efficient long-haul engine to date. It features pistons with a patented wave-shaped interior that improves combustion and increases efficiency by guiding heat and energy to the centre of the cylinders. Excess energy in the exhaust gases is then used to power the engine through an additional turbine in the exhaust flow, called the Turbo Compound unit.
The D13TC engine produces up to 300 Nm extra torque, which means less acceleration and fuel is needed to keep a steady speed in highway traffic. It is the ideal solution for long-haul customers.
Other features of I-Save include new fuel-efficient rear axles, an updated map-based
I-See system that analyses and adapts to gradients ahead and includes gear-shifting software optimised for long-haul applications.
The combined efficiency gains of all these products and services can result in fuel-cost savings by up to 7% compared to a D13 Euro 6 Step D engine. Volvo qualify this by stating: Actual fuel economy will vary depending on many factors, such as use of cruise control, vehicle specification, vehicle load, actual topography, the driver’s driving experience and weather conditions.
“We have tailored every aspect of I-Save to suit long-haul operators, especially those that typically drive more than 120,000 km per year,” says Mats Franzén, Powertrain Strategy Director at Volvo Trucks. “The longer they drive, the more they can potentially save.”
Volvo FH with I-Save lets you drive at lower revs and higher gear for a longer time – contributing to a smoother, quieter drive. Drivers can also look forward to a faster torque response, making this truck even more inspiring.
I-See uses knowledge about the road ahead to utilise the truck’s moving energy in the best possible way when driving in hilly terrain. It takes care of gear selection, acceleration and engine braking when I-Cruise is activated. I-See features a new high resolution map for more exact topography positioning.
Designed specifically for efficient highway driving, I-Shift with long haul optimised software will save you fuel. When driving in Economy mode, every gear change is timed precisely so that the engine can work at its most efficient rpm range.
I-Cruise helps keep speed steady, while adjusting the speed to keep fuel consumption down. It also helps maintain a high average speed for a productivity boost, while contributing to a safer, more comfortable ride. When driving downhill, I-Roll automatically disengages the engine to make use of the truck’s momentum instead of fuel.
Meanwhile, a new rear axle delivers power from the engine to the truck’s wheels with less friction. With the right ratio for long haul, it works in perfect harmony with the Volvo D13TC engine and I-Shift for improved fuel efficiency, while the engine idle shutdown feature automatically turns off the engine after 2.5 minutes of idling to save fuel and reduce emissions.
Included in the Volvo FH with I-Save:
- D13TC (Turbo Compound) 460 hp (2 600 Nm) or 500 hp (2 800 Nm) engine
- New, highly fuel-efficient rear axles
- Engine idle shutdown
- I-Cruise with I-Roll, which adjusts speed to keep down fuel consumption
- Power Steering Pump with Variable Displacement
- Updated I-See
Updated I-Shift with long-haul optimised