Volvo FH with I-Save breaks Commercial Motor fuel test record
In 2019, leading British truck magazine Commercial Motor subjected the Volvo FH with I-Save to its notorious Fuel Test to see if it could deliver on its promised fuel savings. The final result not only exceeded all expectations but also smashed the test’s previous record.
The Fuel Test route has been modified over time in line with new technology and includes different terrains, road types and demanding situations to see how they impact performance.
“We were always confident that the Volvo FH with I-Save would perform well, but even we were delighted at how well it did,” says Martin Tomlinson, Head of Media, Truck Demonstration & Driver Development at Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland.
For a number of years, Commercial Motor has become well-known for its vigorous road tests where different truck models are pushed to their limits, including its demanding Fuel Test for 44-tonne trucks. The route, which has been modified over time in line with new technology, has been designed to include different terrains, road types and demanding situations to see how they impact performance.
Will Shier, Editor, Commercial Motor magazine and Martin Tomlinson, Head of Media, Truck Demonstration & Driver Development at Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland in the truck cab
At key points along the way, time, distance and fuel levels are recorded, so that the level of fuel consumption for different situations can be calculated. After the launch of the Volvo FH with I-Save, with its bold claims of being able to reduce fuel costs by up to seven per cent in long-haul applications, Commercial Motor was eager to see how it would perform.
The two-day test started in the English Midlands and travelled north through the Lake District National Park before making an overnight stop just over the Scottish border. It then headed back south via the notorious Kiln Pit and Castleside hills – the most demanding parts of the test and where the Volvo FH with I-Save really distinguished itself.
“Castleside is really brutal, the worst part of the test, and the turbo compound came in very handy,” claims Will Shiers, Editor of Commercial Motor. “When we did the test with the Volvo FH with I-Save, we just let the truck and its technology do its own thing.”
While Castleside was where the impact of the turbo compound engine was most evident, Martin Tomlinson stresses that it would have helped save fuel throughout the test. “The turbo compound adds 300 Nm of extra torque so hill climbs are much easier, but it still works on the motorway as well, for all those smaller climbs that we sometimes don’t even notice.”