Scania has given the go-ahead for operators to use hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) to power its Euro-6 range of trucks, provided the fuel used meets technical specification TS15940.

The manufacturer said vehicles using HVO – which chemically mimics fossil-fuel-based diesel – can under optimal condition achieve up to a 90% reduction in CO2 emissions.

It added that HVO does not affect a vehicle’s characteristics or its maintenance requirements.

Örjan Åslund, head of product affairs, Scania, said. “We have considerable experience with the practical side of driving using HVO. It’s an alternative fuel that has relatively few disadvantages when compared to diesel, while also offering a large reduction in CO2emissions.”

Earlier this year, Scania approved HVO for use in all types of Euro-5 vehicles and all types of operations. In cooperation with customers, the company also initiated a field test in Sweden involving some 100 trucks with Euro-6 engines.

“Thanks to the certification and our own decision, all Scania hauliers with Euro-6 engines can use HVO, including in buses,” added Åslund. “I know that interest is very high. The challenge for most operators will be in getting access to HVO, as both production and distribution facilities are still limited.”

HVO is a biofuel based on either vegetable oil or animal fats. Hydrogen gas is used to create hydrocarbon chains that mimic fossil-fuel-based diesel. This means that the fuel can also be distributed and used in the same way as regular diesel, including with regard to its thermal- and storage properties.

Scania also offers five Euro-6 engines for use with FAME (fatty acid methyl esters) biodiesel, as well as two gas engines and has indicated that both bioethanol- and hybrid solutions will be introduced shortly.

Earlier this year, retailer Argos put the first of five gas-powered Scania tractor units on the road, which are designed to run solely on compressed or liquefied natural gas, as part of the government's low-carbon truck trial.

Åslund said: “From Scania’s perspective, it’s clear that a variety of solutions are needed in the form of different alternative and renewable fuels. And to meet the global climate challenge, it’s necessary to explore several different avenues, ranging from more efficient vehicles to smarter transport and renewable fuels.”