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Volvo Cars and Taxi Göteborg to test HVO100

Swedish automaker Volvo Car Group, part of China-headed Zhejiang Geely Holdings and Taxi Göteborg, an association of taxi operators in Gothenburg, Sweden, have launched a project to run a fleet of about 100 cars on HVO100, a 100 percent renewable diesel fuel. During the project period, follow-ups will be made to compare the effects of using HVO100 relative to conventional petroleum-based diesel fuel.

Volvo Car Group and Taxi Göteborg have launched a fleet-wide test to run on HVO100 (photo courtesy Volvo Car Sweden).

Our previous experience of testing is that the long-term effects of using HVO100 do not adversely affect our engines. Coating and fuel dilution of the oil will be less thanks to a lower level of aromatics, said Lisa Jacobsson Nilsson, fuel expert at Volvo Cars.

In practice, this means that no special conversions or adjustments are made on the approximately 100 cars, mainly Volvo V90’s with the D3 and D4 engines. Previous tests have also been done for similar cars.

We had a dialogue with Taxi Göteborg which led to the agreement we have now signed. The deal includes just over 100 cars and will be an important test for us and how we will view HVO100, said Fredrik Isakson, Head of Corporate Sales at Volvo Car Sweden.

During the course of the project, each car’s refueling patterns will be followed up and an analysis will be made at each service opportunity. Today, Volvo, along with most other car manufacturers, do not generally allow the fuel in their cars. Should something happen, the car’s warranty does not apply.

Taxi Göteborg has as an environmental objective to drive fossil-free. It is a requirement determined by the association’s environmental work. When it was clear that we could drive with HVO100, we relaxed the requirement not to drive diesel cars. We see HVO100 as one step in the right direction, said Martin Lund at Taxi Göteborg.

Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) is a renewable fuel can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, calculated as carbon dioxide (CO2), by up to 90 percent compared to standard fossil diesel fuel. HVO is a so-called “drop-in” fuel and can be blended with fossil diesel that meets European and Swedish fuel standards EN 590 and SS 155435, which Volvo Cars follows.

The standard diesel currently available at the pumps in Sweden can contain HVO blends up to 49 percent depending on the supplier and quality. HVO100 is also available to a lesser extent.

The tests and analyzes we make will be the basis for our decision on how we will continue to relate to HVO100 and other fuels that meet a European standard called EN 15940. But if and when such a decision may come, it’s too early to say at the moment, said Lisa Jacobsson Nilsson.

According to Taxi Göteborg, the project thus far has gone well. The only problem that has come up is that there are not many filling stations that have HVO100 as a fuel at the pump.

This obviously imposes higher demands on our drivers to plan their driving and thinking, said Martin Lund.

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