Transport emissions jump: bring on electric power

Transport emissions jump: bring on electric power

Volvo Penta’s chief technology officer Johan Carlsson and system engineer Karin Åkman discuss innovation for electromobility at the company’s new development-and-test laboratory in Gothenburg.

The latest quarterly edition of the National Energy Emissions Audit by The Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy Program shows Australian transport emissions are ramping up thanks to a significant increase in diesel usage.

“We’re seeing little if any further reduction in electricity generation emissions, this combined with continuing growth in diesel consumption, are likely to cause energy emissions to increase – not reduce.” said Dr Hugh Saddler, energy expert and author of the Audit.

“Improving electricity efficiency and replacing coal with renewables is the cheapest way to cut national emissions, yet the National Energy Guarantee’s 26 per cent target seeks to reverse this,

“Fossil fuel use for electricity and transport accounts for nearly three quarters of Australia’s emissions. Australia is an outliner globally, with no mandatory emissions or fuel economy standards for vehicles, leaving transport emissions to climb. While diesel cars help drivers save money based on fuel efficiency, using diesel emits around 17 per cent more than petrol by volume and now accounts for half of all petroleum emissions.

“Unless the Australian Government takes action on emissions standards, we will continue to drive up emission in the transport sector with one of the least efficient, highest emission motor vehicle fleets in the world.”

The report also showed Australia’s annual energy emissions decreased in the first quarter of 2018, thanks to the closure of the highly polluting Hazelwood power station.

“Decreased energy emissions over this three-month period were entirely caused by lower electricity generation emissions, resulting from the closure of Hazelwood power station,” Dr Saddler said.

Bring on electric power

On the supplier side of the equation, Volvo Penta has set 2021 as deadline to introduce electric power.

With the aim of becoming a driving force in sustainable power systems, Volvo Penta is going full charge into hybrid and all-electric drivelines, offering electrified engines in both its marine and industrial segments by 2021.

Underpinned by the success of hybrid and all-electric technology introduced by the Volvo Group, Volvo Penta’s electrified powerplants will demonstrate the company’s long-term commitment to offering the latest and most appropriate power source for their user applications.

“Volvo Penta is embracing the electric transformation and will be at the forefront in delivering compelling business cases to customers using this new technology,” says Björn Ingemanson, president of Volvo Penta.

“We will take a full systems supplier approach helping our customers in the transition to the new technology. This will happen application-by-application, on the basis that the business case for switching to electric will differ across our many customer segments.

“This is the start of a long-term transition,” he adds. “Diesel and gasoline-powered primary drive systems will remain the most appropriate power source for many applications for years to come.”

Time to start switching over

“Volvo Penta is already several years into its electrification journey,” said chief technology officer Johan Inden.

“We have spent this time building competencies, experience and establishing the technologies required to deliver a sustainable power road map. The advanced engineering projects we are currently running and the performance data received gives us confidence that we are on the right technology path to offer customers a compelling business case for electrification.”

As part of this increased commitment, Volvo Penta has restructured its organisation to accelerate the switch towards electrified power and has committed to an ambitious ramping up of its electrification investment program. An electromobility development-and-test laboratory has also been established at its Swedish headquarters.

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