- Reduced nitrogen oxide, particulate matter and fine particle emissions
Just under a year after the market launch, the 10,000th truck with the new BlueTec diesel technology has come off the line at the DaimlerChrysler truck plant in Wörth. The milestone Mercedes-Benz Actros BlueTec 5 model was handed over to the management of freight company GRT Wittwer Transport GmbH by Hubertus Troska, Head of the Mercedes-Benz Trucks Business Unit. Based in Eschenlohe in Upper Bavaria, GRT Wittwer Transport GmbH operates a fleet of some 90 trucks, of which almost one third are already equipped with Mercedes-Benz BlueTec diesel technology and meet the Euro 5 emissions standards scheduled to go into effect in 2009. This technology reduces emissions of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulates by up to 80 per cent from currently permissible levels.
Fleets like that of GRT Wittwer Transport GmbH which opt for low-emission technology ahead of schedule also enjoy economic benefits. As Hubertus Troska explained at the handover: "BlueTec diesel technology is proving to be an effective fuel saving strategy. Not surprisingly in view of rising fuel prices, the chance to make big savings – of between 1,500 and 2,000 litres of fuel a year in long-haul operation for example – is bringing BlueTec to the attention of more and more prospective customers." This was why BlueTec diesel technology won DaimlerChrysler the international "Golden Oil Drop 2005" award. German road toll concessions for Euro 5 trucks through to 2009 are a further attraction.
Wittwer Transport GmbH's European fleet operations rely heavily on state-of-the-art technology and well-equipped vehicles. Incidentally, every year a number of long-distance trips are made by the bosses themselves. "This allows us to keep in touch with customers and with the realities of the business", says Wolf-Rüdiger Wittwer, senior director of the family-run company.
Two thirds of Euro 4/Euro 5 trucks on the road are Mercedes-Benz products
DaimlerChrysler decided at an early stage in favour of using SCR-based BlueTec technology to meet Euro 4 and Euro 5 and as a basis for meeting future even more stringent European emissions standards. In the meantime all the European manufacturers have followed suit and are developing Euro 5 technologies based on SCR. Interim solutions based on a combination of existing technology and additional components are only being offered for Euro 4, which will become mandatory very shortly (in autumn 2006).
Mercedes-Benz trucks were the first commercial vehicles to go on the market in Euro 5 version. That was just under a year ago. Starting with the Mercedes-Benz Actros heavy-duty trucks, BlueTec has now also been introduced in the Mercedes-Benz Axor and Mercedes-Benz Atego truck ranges. With ten thousand vehicles delivered so far, Mercedes-Benz accounts for approximately two thirds of the Euro 4/Euro 5 trucks currently operating in Europe. Around 98% of orders are for the particularly future-compatible Euro 5 trucks.
BlueTec also effective against fine particles
Essentially, the new BlueTec diesel technology from DaimlerChrysler is based on improved engine design combined with exhaust aftertreatment technology. The efficiency of the combustion process means that the engine-out emissions of particulate matter and fine particles are already so low as to make a particulate filter redundant. Independent tests (for example by the TÜV-Nord technical inspection authority) have demonstrated the effectiveness of BlueTec in reducing fine particle emissions. Using the aqueous urea solution AdBlue as a reducing agent, the nitrogen oxides in these emissions are then converted into non-toxic nitrogen and water vapour in a catalyst with the aid of an integrated SCR exhaust aftertreatment system. There are now around 1,500 public-access AdBlue refuelling sites in Europe, ranging from the Arctic Circle to southern Spain and from Ireland to Moscow, Russia. On top of the reduced fuel consumption, BlueTec diesel technology has other advantages as well: service intervals remain unchanged at up to 150,000 km, and fuel quality tolerance is improved, a particularly important consideration for long-haul transport to regions where low-sulphur diesel fuel is not available.