Volvo debuts dual-fuel FM400 truck

Volvo Group Thailand, the sole manufacturer and distributor of Volvo heavy-duty trucks and buses, yesterday launched its new heavy-duty FM400 truck boasting CNG dual-fuel technology.

The FM400 CNG dual-fuel model has been built for durability as a cutting-edge option for the logistics sector that is rapidly heating up with the coming of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) in 2016.

The new model with CNG dual-fuel system is expected to gain a large market share with exceptional features setting it apart from competitors.

The new FM400 will certainly create a stir in the market as the dual-fuel system uses both diesel and CNG together at a ratio of 40:60, resulting in at least 35% savings in fuel costs, said Volvo Thailand president Jacques Michel.

It is also the first OEM dual-fuel heavy-duty truck in Thailand which offers the same warrantee as other types of Volvo trucks around the world.

"What's more important is that the engine as well as engine wear will be similar to the diesel engine because the system is truly a dual-fuel mixture of diesel and CNG rather than a choice of one over the other," Mr Michel said.

The new Volvo model is a long-haul heavy-duty truck with a 12.8-litre 6-cylinder engine, producing 400hp at 1,400-1,800, the highest horse power in its class.

The new model is priced 4.5 million baht and breaking even point is expected within two years, with additional costs compared to heavy-duty trucks not equipped with a CNG system.

"The Volvo FM400 CNG dual fuel model is a good choice for businesses preparing for the AEC which will certainly result in fiercer competition in the market. The launch comes at a good time, providing a quality option for all logistic enterprises," said Mr Michel.

He said sales of Volvo trucks in Thailand grew rapidly in the first three quarters of this year with 669 units sold, a year-on-year rise of 42%.

"This growth can be attributed to the fact that after last year's tragic flood, the Thai market has rebounded so rapidly that we have been unable to deliver the trucks fast enough to meet demand," said Mr Michel.