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Iveco Z Truck - liquid future
Iveco has been offering methane-powered vehicles for years, gradually moving away from storing the fuel in compressed form in favour of liquefied state, which saves space and enhances driving range on a single refill. When it comes to truck tractors, this is crucial, so no wonder the Z Truck concept also runs on LNG. To make the truck even more environmentally friendly than it already is thanks to the use of methane instead of diesel, Iveco envisioned the Z Truck as fueled by renewable rather than fossil natural gas.
Making methane from biomass makes the fuel practically neutral in environmental terms. Sure, there are tailpipe emissions, but given the amount of CO2 absorbed by plants constituing the biomass from which biogas is produced, overall carbon footprint of the vehicle is none or even negative (i.e. below zero). And storing the fuel in liquefied form ensures a projected range of 2200 km. Streamlined design of the vehicle is a factor here (less drag results in lower fuel consumption), as is autonomous driving mode (which optimises performance by focusing on economy).
The Z Truck's engine generates 460 PS of power and a very generous 2000 Nm of torque, transfered to the wheels via a 16-speed Powershift automatic transmission. The unit uses a low-viscosity Petronas Urania lubricant to reduce internal friction and thus fuel consumption. To improve economy figures even further, the wheels are wrapped in Michelin X Line Energy tires, which are said to save a litre of fuel every 100 km. Also, the vehicle emits next to no particulate matter at all.
As for the LNG tank, it was developed by SAG and utilises aluminum and MLI (Multi Layer Insulation) technology with special foil protecting the vessel from heat radiation. There are two tanks onboard the Z Truck (placed in a cubical housing under the vehicle and refueled simultaneously), with a combined capacity of 1200 l. The aforementioned range this amount of fuel provides (2200 km) is by approx. 60% than a modern day LNG-powered Iveco Stralis NP or an equivalent running on diesel oil.
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