COLHD PROJECT

COLHD is a Horizon 2020 European Funded project, bringing together some of Europe’s top universities, SMEs and engineering organisations to find alternatives to using fossil fuels in HGVs.

The freight road transport sector accounts for 25% of total greenhouse gas emissions in the EU. Alternative fuel vehicles only represented 3.4% of the European car fleet in 2012, and use of alternative fuels in HGVs (Heavy Goods Vehicles) is negligible as they’re highly dependent on diesel.

The share of electric vehicles in the total activity of long-distance vehicles is foreseen to reach 15% by 2050 (EU Reference Scenario 2016. Electricity, however, unlike LNG or biofuels, is not considered a feasible option for alternative fueled road-freight in medium and long ranges (DG MOVE, “State of the Art on Alternative Fuels Transport Systems”), due to the size of the battery and long charging times needed to power such long distance transport.

The share of LNG in total consumption of heavy duty trucks is foreseen to go up to 2.8% and 8.2% in 2030 and 2050, respectively (EU Reference Scenario 2016).

Some large end users, such as Carrefour and IKEA, have already defined targets for the share of alternative-fuelled trucks in their fleets. However, there is currently a lack of attractiveness of fuel and powertrain alternatives for general public and businesses: improvement in existing technologies is either limited in performance or entails high level of pollutant emissions; on the other hand, current alternative fuels fail to achieve significant GHG emissions reduction.

COLHD, for the first time, is aiming to develop an alternative fuel engine that is more efficient than a standard diesel one.

Up until now, no alternative fuel engine has proven to be more efficient than a standard Diesel one.

Technology

  • OBJECTIVE 1

Optimisation of a prototype DDF powertrain (Powertrain1) (engine + other systems) improving CO2 emissions by 10%, whilst maintaining performance, durability and costs.

To achieve this objective, we will need to meet the following targets:

  • Develop a new two-stage injection system that optimises the air-fuel mixing process
  • Develop ECU software to improve the pre-injection impact on the combustion
  • Develop ECU software to reduce the CO2 emissions through cylinder deactivation
  • Develop an after-treatment system which can reduce the residual emission of Methane by 90%
  • OBJECTIVE 2

Development of a new prototype NGDI powertrain (Powertrain2) (engine + BOG + LNG tank) improving CO2 emissions by 20%, whilst maintaining performance, durability and costs.

To achieve this objective, we will need to meet the following targets:

  • Develop a new direct injection system to substantially reduce the amount of diesel necessary 
  • Variable Valve Timing to enhance efficiency higher than diesel SotA (at least 2%)
  • Develop a new DOHC cylinder head that allows the valves to actuate separately
  • Develop an after-treatment system which can reduce the engine emissions below Euro VI
  • OBJECTIVE 3

Development of a new prototype DDF HP powertrain (Powertrain3) (engine + Gas tank) improving CO2 emissions by 10%, whilst maintaining performance, durability and costs.

To achieve this objective, we will need to meet the following targets:

  • Develop a system for mixing HVO and LBP before the high-pressure pump
  • Develop ECU software to improve the pre-injection impact on the combustion
  • Develop an after-treatment system which can reduce engine emissions below Euro VI

To successfully implement the powertrain technologies into a prototype vehicle that achieves the targets set, it is also critical to:

The technological development will ultimately resolve with the accomplishment of:

  • OBJECTIVE 4

Develop a new concept for fuel storage system that improves the vehicle’s range by 100% and reduces weight and costs by 10%, with respect to the current available solutions and reduces the amount of boiled-off methane that needs to be vented to an extent that there is virtually no methane gas emitted into the atmosphere.

  • OBJECTIVE 5

Integrate the prototypes of the developed technologies in complete trucks, and demonstrate the compliance with the aforementioned environmental (GHG, CO, PM, NOx, THC, NH3) and performance benefits in real life conditions.

Fuels & Infrastructure

Only providing the powertrains is not sufficient to stimulate the market of alternative fuelled HGVs to grow. COLHD acknowledges that to be successfully recognised as a standard in the market, these fuel blends must respond to the needs of engine efficiency, infrastructure and costs.

The optimum blend will be a mixture of HVO and Bio-gasses, which is able to maximise the renewable fraction and ensure the minimum greenhouse gas emissions of the powertrains, considering fuel, equipment and infrastructure costs that the market can sustain.

  • OBJECTIVE 6

Have one or more blends of at least 30% LBM in LNG and one or more blends of at least 30% HVO in Fossil Diesel, which can be used into COLHD Powertrain 1 and Powertrain 2 prototypes recommended as a standard for the HGV market.

  • OBJECTIVE 7

Have one or more blends of at least 30% LBP in LPG and one or more blends of at least 30% HVO in Fossil Diesel, which can be used into COLHD Powertrain 3 prototype recommended as a standard for the HGV market.

Removing Barriers

COLHD aims at being a strong advocate of alternative fuels for HDV, by achieving these objectives:

  • OBJECTIVE 8

Prove the enhanced feasibility of the 3 demonstrators, by developing a set of specific business cases for each vehicle, including LCC and TCO analysis with input from all value chain stakeholders, aiming at facilitating its successful introduction in the market.

  • OBJECTIVE 9

Engage with at least 50 relevant stakeholders outside the consortium, by engaging with different audiences (fleet operators, general audience, public administration), and including at least 3 workshops in different EU locations.

The COLHD project has identified 4 main stakeholder groups:

  • General public (EU citizens)
  • Scientific community: R&D academic experts in the areas of relevance for COLHD, including alternative fuels and simulation for road transport (HDV, particularly trucks).
  • Industry
  • Other professional stakeholders, including: Standardisation bodies and regulators, fleet operators, insurance companies, logistics businesses, simulation industry, (bio)fuel suppliers and R&D road transport managers (OEMs and suppliers).

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