Replacing diesel with gas is a sustainable solution that has gained global interest. Scania South Africa recently launched the Scania 6 x 2 PDR 340 Hp inner-city distribution truck that runs on natural gas. Natural gas is methane gas found in pockets in the Earth’s crust.
It is extracted from gas deposits or in conjunction with oil extraction. Natural gas is a fossil fuel, but since the methane molecule only contains one carbon atom, the emitted amount of CO2 during combustion is smaller compared to a standard diesel engine. Compared to standard diesel, an optimal CO2 reduction can reach up to 20%.
As sustainability becomes a more pressing business requirement for South Africa’s transport operators, with the imminent implementation of a new carbon tax, finding solutions that maintain profitability while lowering carbon emissions, is an urgent priority. “Our gas engines are characterized by high performance, excellent fuel efficiency, lower carbon emissions and low noise levels,” says Mark Templeton, Manager: Sustainability, Scania Southern Africa. An important goal for Scania in the development work of their CNG trucks has been to ensure the best possible drivability so that the performance and characteristics of these new trucks corresponds to those of a modern diesel engine.
Scania’s gas engine’s come with over a century of experience, offering state-of-the-art engineering using Scania’s unique technologies. “Scania’s gas engines work according to the Otto principle, with spark ignition”, explains Templeton. “The ignition system, along with various features, like individual cylinder heads, low-pressure gas system and air-to-air charge cooler ensure maximized engine performance.”
The Scania 6 x 2 PDR 340Hp’s Euro VI CNG Otto engine offers diesel-like performance, with high torque at low revs. It is recommended for city distribution, refuse collection and general cargo applications. “Alternative fuel vehicles, such as natural gas, will play a key role in South Africa’s transition to a more sustainable transport solution,” says Templeton. The benefits include extended maintenance intervals. “Gas engines that work on the Otto principle match the diesel service interval” says Templeton. “It is the service life of the spark plugs that typically set the limits.”
As sustainability draws more consumer interest many South African companies are looking for transport operators who will support their sustainability goals. Master Cargo is a Scania client committed to reducing the carbon footprint of their operations. Recently, in partnership with Scania and supplier Maxwell and Spark, Master Cargo piloted a world-first environmentally friendly refrigeration solution that requires no diesel usage, with phenomenal results. Fitted to the Scania 6×2 PDR 340 Hp, the unique solution performed exceedingly well in difficult conditions.
“Sustainability is no longer a choice,” says Templeton. “But it doesn’t have to be a difficult switch. At Scania, we are committed to finding and offering our customers the solutions that will future proof their businesses, without them having to compromise on performance or profitability.” As the world leader in sustainable transport solutions, Scania is well-positioned to support its customers as a new era of sustainable transportation becomes a South African reality.