Heavy Duty Gas Engines integrated in vehicles

HDGAS (Heavy Duty Gas Engines integrated in Vehicles) was a three-year project responding to the Horizon 2020 Green Vehicles call in 2014 about future alternative powertrains for heavy duty vehicles.


The overall project objective was to develop, demonstrate, and optimise advanced powertrain concepts for dual-fuel and for pure natural gas operation engines, perform integration thereof into heavy duty vehicles, and confirm achievement of Euro VI emissions levels. The project was successfully completed in June 2018.

Customer Benefit

Ricardo developed a lean-burn direct-injection spark-ignited natural gas engine for the heavy duty on-highway market.

In addition, the activity investigated, developed, calibrated, and tested advanced aftertreatment systems for natural gas powertrains to meet Euro VI emissions legislation. The project target was to achieve a 10% fuel economy and CO2 improvement over a 2013 best-in-class natural gas engine. This equates to a
fiscal reduction for end users, where fuel costs can approach 50% of the operational expenditure.

The final results for the technology developed by Ricardo, delivered a 19% reduction in CO2 emissions versus the 2013 best-in-class natural gas engine and a 16% CO2 reduction versus a 2016 reference diesel, another important benchmark.

This result far exceeded the 10% project target, whilst meeting Euro VI emissions levels. These results validate lean burn natural gas powertrains as an attractive offering to reduce the level of CO2 emissions being produced in the heavy duty onhighway sector. Additionally, the developed technology offers fiscal benefits for end users over the life of the vehicle, with attractive payback times to recoup the expected on-cost of the technology.

Based on EU & UK average fluid costs, the on-cost associated with the HDGAS lean burn technology pays back in 9 months of real-world operation versus a diesel equivalent heavy-duty vehicle. An annual saving of around € 35,000 can be realised thereafter for the life of the vehicle, based on a very moderate heavy goods vehicle use case of 150,000km per annum. This is due to the improved efficiency demonstrated and lower cost of natural gas.


The technology developed by Ricardo and its partners consists of a high-tumble heavy-duty combustion chamber, lean-burn combustion with corona ignition system, direct natural gas injection, as well as a state-of-the-art aftertreatment system which includes a methane oxidation catalyst to meet tailpipe methane targets.

Website: http://www.hdgas.eu/

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 653391