Volvo Trucks plans to intensify its development of gas-powered HGVS aimed at the regional and long-distance trunking market.

The manufacturer said recent EU regulations continue to challenge the road haulage sector to reduce HGV emissions, with liquefied natural gas (LNG) or biogas offering a “vital part of the solution”.

“Many of our customers and their customers already work hard to reduce their environmental footprint,” said Lars Mårtensson, director environment and innovation at Volvo Trucks.

“This regulation will drive the development of lower emissions, where we see a clear possibility for increasing LNG market shares as a vital part of the solution,” he said.

Mårtensson added that Volvo’s vision was for its trucks to eventually all be zero emission, however the path to achieving this “is not by one single solution but rather through several solutions in parallel”.

Natural gas is a fossil fuel, but it can produce 20% lower CO2 emissions than diesel, according to Volvo Trucks. If biogas is used instead, the climate impact can be cut by up to 100%.

By using methane in liquid form, it is possible to carry larger quantities of fuel, which is well suited to long-haul operations, said Volvo.

The manufacturer added that long-term availability of natural gas is strong, which will help lead to competitive prices across Europe.

A strategy for expanding LNG infrastructure is also included in the European Commission’s action pplan for securing Europe’s long-term energy supply.

“All told, this makes liquefied gas the best widely available climate alternative on the market for long and heavy transports,” said Mårtensson.

“What is needed now is gas-powered trucks that can compete with diesel in terms of performance and fuel consumption, and continued expansion of LNG infrastructure. In both cases major progress has been achieved.”

At an event in Slovakia, Volvo claimed its latest LNG-powered FH and FM trucks are up to 25% more fuel efficient than conventional spark plug engines.