Europeans are getting it even with their heavy haulers.

Discussion in 'Commerical Transportation' started by xcel, Oct 4, 2007.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    MB Atego with Blue-Tec 5 for Europe is now even cleaner.

    [xfloat=left][/xfloat]Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – Oct. 4, 2007

    The European Mercedes-Benz Atego is known for its low fuel consumption, fast service capability, long service life and high resale value. When will the US medium and heavy duty commercial trucks be known for the same is anyone’s guess?

    The Mercedes-Benz Atego light to medium duty truck and tractor units usually deliver into inner-city areas. The big news for the Europeans is that this truck is now available with MB famed Bluetec emissions reduction package that will be available on the upcoming 50-state compliant US spec’ed MB 320 CDI. This emissions reduction package meets Euro V emissions standards with a 43% reduction in NOx (nitrogen oxides) emissions compared to the previous Euro IV specifications. Thanks to the new Bluetec diesel technology with an incorporated particulate filter, the Atego’s emissions of PM (particulate matter) has also been dramatically reduced.

    Further benefits of the SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) technology include higher fuel economy, reduced toll charges and lower depreciation. In Germany, the extra charge for Bluetec 5 is being subsidized by the German government.

    Since 2004, about 100,000 trucks with the Bluetec emissions packages have been produced by Mercedes-Benz.

    To comply with the EU’s latest Euro 5 emissions standards, MB is employing Blutec in all its medium and heavy duty commercial vehicles. The use of Blutec (an exhaust gas after-treatment system) in which a fluid known as Ad-Blue (Urea) is injected into the exhaust stream prior to entering the catalytic converter, has made it possible to improve upon the combustion process even further. The result is a considerable reduction in the amount of exhaust emissions including particulates plus the added benefit of even lower fuel consumption.
  2. seftonm

    seftonm Veteran Staff Member

    I noticed Bluetec was pretty prevalent over there, a few gas stations were starting to stock AdBlue. Our tour bus had a Bluetec 4 system.
  3. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Sefton:

    ___That pic is so cool! And Ad-Blue is available at the local gas stations? Did you remember seeing a cost for a L or two? I would like to do some cost runs on the MB Blutec system as a whole but I have no idea what Ad-Blue actually costs?

    ___The reason I posted this story was the fact that Blutec is not just a 50-state compliant emissions control system from MB for their upcoming 320 CDI as some of us know it as here but is also great at reducing NOx and PM from the big stuff like your Tour Bus and the light to heavy duty rigs many here including myself would have never considered. I can only hope Blutec becomes a household name for the big rigs here in the US but I am sure it is locked up in patents so tight and the royalty payments for use are so high as to make it all but cost prohibitive for the US’ heavy-duty OTR vehicles :( That does not mean I would not love to see it on our OTR trucks however!

    ___Good Luck

  4. seftonm

    seftonm Veteran Staff Member

    If my memory is working well tonight, the cost for AdBlue was around $24 for a 4L container. I should have grabbed a picture. I didn't see it at all in city fuel stations; the few sightings were at large car/truck stops along major motorways.

    EDIT: I did some looking on the internet and one source said bulk AdBlue from filling stations (probably like filling a fuel tank at a gas station) was around €0.7 per liter. I never thought to look for a filler with the appearance of a fuel pump. Jugs of car fluids seemed to be horribly expensive at gas stations now that I think about it. 1L of Castrol TXT 505.01 was €22.50 vs $6.50 which my dealer charges. €1 ~ $1.40 CAD / USD.

    I just finished reading a Car & Driver article about new emissions regulations for heavy trucks and was kind of disappointed with what's been going on. Apparently passenger vehicles have been required to recycle or filter crankcase blow-by since 1963, but large trucks haven't been required to do it until now. It said that particulate matter regulations were significantly tightened in 2006, requiring filters. Almost every large truck I saw in Europe already seemed to have particulate filters, which gives me the impression Europe has had tighter PM regulations for a while. Now I learn that Europe will soon have Bluetec 5 systems and the only thing our trucks have to cut NOx is an EGR system. With the heavy truck fleet producing much more PM and NOx than the entire fleet of passenger vehicles, I wish the EPA would start cracking the whip on trucks like they have for diesel cars :(
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2007
  5. kngkeith

    kngkeith Well-Known Member

    Please don't get too enamored with Europe. "Bluetec" is M-B's marketing phrase for its collection of diesel emission technology. The information posted is from a MB press release. Currently some US EPA emissions standards are more strigent than Euro standards. Note that VW did not offer diesels this year as they were too dirty for USA. Mercedes offers its Bluetec to comply in the US.

    Heavy Duty Diesel emissions technology has followed a similiar sequence to comply with EPA and Euro standards, which address CO, PM (particulate matter- soot), and NOx. In the States engine manufacturers introduced EGR systems to comply with 2004 regs (except for Caterpillar,who introduced their own "ACERT" system). In 2007 DPFs (diesel particulate filters) were installed (and Caterpillar added EGR). It is expected that SCR (selective catalytic converter) technology using Urea injection will be necessary to comply with the 2010 regs. Urea injection converts NOx to harmless nitrogen and water. Mercedes is calling their Urea injection system "Ad-blue." Just a name on an existing technology. MB's update will help them comply with Euro V standards, which go into effect in 2009. Kudos to MB for introducing the system earlier.

    Note- In September Cummins announced that they will not need to use Urea injection to comply with the 2010 standards. They are implementing different solutions to address the problem (common rail fuel system, better injection timing, etc). Different approaches does not make Cummins better or worse than MB.

    Regarding fuel consumption- pretty similar between Euro and US. Depends on application.
  6. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Kngkeith:

    ___Welcome to CleanMPG and with a little searching, you will find all of our past TDI and diesel articles as well as what we have to look forward to in the very near future wrt diesels here in the US.

    ___We know all about MB Blutech as well as why the VW TDI’s disappeared for the 07 MY but it was the mid and heavy-duty equipment CI-ICE’s in Europe that I was surprised to see.

    ___Good Luck

    Last edited: Oct 17, 2007
  7. kngkeith

    kngkeith Well-Known Member

    If you are interested go to- 4 EGR v SCR Guide - June 061_tcm327-145691.doc -- for an excellent presentation regarding EGR vs SCR for emission control. This document was created by Scania- the European Truck and Engine manufacturer.

    EPA Heavy Duty Diesel emission standards currently are MORE stringent than EURO standards. The European manufacturers went the SCR route while the US makers went with EGR. SCR does offer better fuel efficiency, but the engines with EGR are not far behind. The EPA resisted the adoption of SCR in the US because there is no infrastructure to distribute urea, no plans were in place to ensure truckers would actually keep urea in their tanks, and the added cost seemed to outweigh the benefits especially in light of the proven cooled EGR technology. Obviously though, EGR is not the only answer.

    I have to admit that these emissions laws have been good overall. They have pushed manufacturers hard, and manufacturers have responded. We are seeing the same developmental processes in the big engines as we saw in the little engines of the 70's and 80's. The difference is things are happening at a much accelerated rate. For instance- it was a given that SCR would be necessary to meet the next phase of compliance- then Cummins says they won't need to. Who knows what's next in development? And while the manufacturers have been working to improve emissions without simply bolting on technology, they at times have found ways to improve fuel mileage too.

    BTW- Daimler owns Freightliner Truck Corp and Detroit Diesel. The Mercedes 4000 (heavy duty) and 900 (medium duty) are installed in their US based trucks, along with the Detroit Series 60. Detroit Diesel was the first with electonic engine control (DDEC) on heavy duty diesels, developed when Roger Penske owned the company. M-B has adapted the DDEC system for their US market engines. Also- Volvo uses their own engines, they are the same platform for both Europe and USA. European technology is here.

  8. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Keith:

    ___Great stuff and thanks for the link.

    ___Most of the smaller companies and owner/operators bypassed the 07 regs with the pre-07 model rebuilds. I have talked to a number of owner/drivers who had 06 motor rebuilds go in last year for the next 700K to 1 Million miles so they would not have to use a less fuel efficient motor with a new US compliant EGR at work? That will get some of these guys by for another 3 + years anyway?

    ___In the case of the light-duty automobile diesels, I belive MB and VW are/will be using both an EGR and urea injection into an SCR. MB is heading in the direction of SCR full force and appears to have a leg up on anything being built by Cummins today. I was wondering when or if MB was going to get the go ahead per the EPA to run a Urea injected SCR solution in light-duty vehicles and apparently, they did. At least for a 2-year lease period anyway?

    California gets its diesel back ...

    ___I hope Cummins has a good overall solution just as we hear that Honda has a non-SCR based solution for the light duty market that works to Tier II/Bin5 as well. Any additional comments would be greatly appreciated.

    ___Good Luck

    Last edited: Oct 17, 2007
  9. kngkeith

    kngkeith Well-Known Member

    I haven't seen the data that supports the assertion that the M-Bs are cleaner. But, please remember I am a consumer, not an engineer, and watch developments closely as they pertain to my business, and out of simple curiosity. Cummins, Cat, International, Man, Paccar, Volvo, Mack, Detroit, etc etc all use their own combination of EGR, Injection timing, Turbo(s), SCR, DPFs to comply with the regs. Detroit/MB expects to use SCR, EGR and DPF to comply with Euro 5.

    There was a prebuy in 2006 of new tractors by larger trucking firms to avoid purchasing 2007 compliant trucks. The same happened to a larger degree in 2003 to avoid the 2004 trucks. So us owner-operator/ small trucking firms do our own thing- rebuild. As an owner/driver I treat my tractor extremely nice, and as I don't plan on doing this forever hope to avoid the issue of replacement/rebuild. In my application- 1999 International with an N-14 Cummins- I can get 6.75 mpg at 62 mph, 80000 lbs., dry van. I would not do better with a newer tractor with same general specs. Why risk expensive downtime issues with a newer unit. I talked with one driver in a 2005 Cummins powered unit that was on its 3rd EGR valve. My mechanic neighbor says that he sees a lot of EGR failures at the International dealership he works at. To me, these are all teething problems that I'll let giant trucking companies work through.

    What I have observed in the trade literature is that 2004 model mpg was worse than 2003, but by 2006 mpg had improved to 2003 levels. I expect the same to happen regarding 2007 and then 2010. However, much of the changes will reflect the increased interdependence of all the driveline systems, better aeros, and other chassis improvements. US manufacturers are moving to an integrated approach that is similar to the Europeans. No longer will it be off the shelf components mixed and matched according to the desires of the customers.

    Overall- cummins vs mercedes- hmm..."ford vs chevy" ("honda vs toyota" in this venue). My experience is limited.
  10. seftonm

    seftonm Veteran Staff Member

    I did some reading and found some figures. 50% of trucks sold today need to meet 2007 regulations, 100% compliance is required for 2010.

    2004 regulations:
    NMHC + NOx: 2.5g/bhp-hr

    2007 regulations:
    PM—0.01 g/bhp-hr
    NOx—0.20 g/bhp-hr
    NMHC—0.14 g/bhp-hr

    Euro 4: (Oct 2005)
    PM: .015 g/bhp-hr
    NOx: 2.6 g/bhp-hr
    HC: 1.1 g/bhp-hr

    Euro 5: (Oct 2008)
    PM: .015 g/bhp-hr
    NOx: 1.5 g/bhp-hr
    HC: 1.1 g/bhp-hr

    So much to my surprise we are actually are just as clean now and are on the way to being cleaner than Europe. I never knew EGR could do such a good job on its own, diesel cars these days need fancy catalytic converters or SCR to meet EPA emissions.
  11. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Sefton:

    ___It looks like I have some reading to do too. Wow, the Euro IV and V diesel truck specs are just as horrid (in fact worse) then the Euro IV and V car specs when compared to the US Tier II/Bin specs.

    ___Good Luck

  12. kngkeith

    kngkeith Well-Known Member

    I was trying to figure out why M-B would offer the Euro V setup now. Apparently European manufacturers offer Euro V engines now for those operators that want to take advantage of emission based discounts on German road fees, British congestion charges, a break on excise tax, etc.

    This document has very readable graph comparing different emissions standards (page 4) and a table showing Detroit Diesel’s anticipated response to each (page 5).

    Regarding SCR vs EGR vs DPF- depends on who’s talking (or paying the research bill) or in Cummins case- which side of the ocean your on.

    European Manufacturers Association attack EGR/DPF

    Cummins Europe literature extolling the virtues of SCR over EGR

    My take- technology is changing fast, but manufacturers have to guess which technology will emerge as the most viable in long run. Its amusing to watch as they spin their struggle into marketing material. If they can get the consumer to buy into whatever technology their advocating- then they can spend more on R&D in that concept to make it a long term solution.
  13. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Detroit Diesel debuts DD15 engine platform; performance and fuel economy touted.

    The DD15 uses EGR and a DPF to meet the 07 EPA reg’s and an SCR will be added for the 2010’s.

    [xfloat=left][/xfloat]Trucker News – Oct. 19, 2007

    According to Detroit Diesels spec sheets, the DD15 increases FE by 5% with new and faster electronics controlling injection events more precisely. An extra 50HP is said to be available by use of a WWII turbo charging trick called Turbo Compounding (recycling “waste heat” from the turbo). -- Ed.

    REDFORD, Mich. - After nearly five years and $1.5 billion in development, the new heavy-duty Detroit Diesel DD15 engine was unveiled Friday at the Detroit Diesel plant. The DD15 displaces 14.8 liters, and is a 6-cylinder, in-line design. It is intended to offer superlative performance in all heavy-duty, North American truck and coach applications, and to feature best-in-class fuel consumption as well as industry-leading power and performance.

    The result of the largest investment ever made in the development of an engine by an engine manufacturer, Detroit Diesel says, the DD15 achieves its goals through the application of a new Amplified Common Rail System (ACRS), as well as innovative turbo compounding technology. This engine is the first in a series of new heavy-duty engines from Detroit Diesel which eventually will cover three displacement categories: 12.8 liters, 14.8 liters and 15.6 liters.

    The market launch of the DD15 in the Freightliner Cascadia will take place in the second quarter of 2008, followed by the Freightliner Century S/T and Columbia models and the Sterling Set-Back L-Line and A-Line.
    The DD15 is part of the Heavy-Duty Engine Platform, which will ultimately be manufactured by Daimler Trucks in Germany, Japan and the United States.

    In time, engines sharing this design will be available in all Daimler Trucks heavy-duty models around the world, including Mercedes-Benz and Mitsubishi Fuso trucks. Ultimately, this Engine Platform will replace four, distinct, engine series used today by Daimler Trucks brands globally … [rm][/rm]
  14. kngkeith

    kngkeith Well-Known Member

    5% mpg improvement is great. This rate of improvement won't get to Wal-Mart's 2015 goal, but its still impressive given the emissions control.


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