No announcements will be made before the official release of 2010 model details next year, but expect to see the current 6.7L Cummins-built engine continue in all Dodge Ram diesel models, according to Brad Pugh, the Ram chassis cab planner. That engine is offered in Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 cab chassis and now uses cooled EGR and a diesel particulate filter (DPF) to meet 2007 emissions requirements.
Fuel economy for those models “will be a key factor in 2010,” Pugh says. “We take that seriously and are trying our best not to degrade it” with new emissions technology, he says.
While unable to provide details on the chosen Dodge 2010 solution, Pugh points out that the company has been part of the selective catalytic reduction consortium working to develop a distribution network for the diesel exhaust fluid required by that technology. SCR is also widely recognized as having better fuel economy performance than using EGR only to reach the 2010 emissions levels.
Testing of Dodge's 2010 diesels is well underway, Pugh says, with lab testing of powertrain elements, structural durability testing of brackets and housings, and on-road extreme climate testing with trailer loads.
The Dodge Sprinter van is currently powered by a V6 3L diesel with DPF. Again, no official details are available on 2010 models, but the same fuel economy concerns are driving the choice of an emissions technology, according to a company spokesperson.
It is premature to offer specific details about Ford's plans for compliance with the 2010 emissions standards at this time, according to a spokesperson for Ford Motor Co. The truckmaker manufactures the F-Series line of gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles for commercial truck fleets, including the medium-duty F-650 and F-750. A new model 2009 F-150 pickup was introduced this fall.
Currently, all Ford diesel-powered pickups use the 6.4L, Power Stroke 32-valve V8 turbodiesel. Available as either a 6-spd. manual or automatic, the engine produces 350 hp. at 3,000 rpm and 650 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,000 rpm. Towing capacity maxes out at 16,000 lbs. for both the manual and automatic. The engine uses Ford Clean Diesel Technology, which includes a diesel particulate filter and runs on ultralow sulfur diesel, producing particulate emissions equivalent to those of a similar size gasoline engine, Ford said.
SCR is definitely part of the 2010 solution for General Motors, according to John Gaydash, general director of marketing for General Motors Fleet and Commercial. “Like other truck makers, we realize we have to make some significant enhancements to our diesel engines to meet 2010 exhaust emissions standards,” says Gaydash. “SCR will definitely be a part of that solution.
“We are also making some modifications to the EGR [exhaust gas recirculation] technology that is already in use for compliance with 2007 standards. The exact nature of those changes depends upon the truck model.
“There is no doubt that the 2010 system will be more complex with the addition of SCR, but GM is prepared to deal with that. We consider diesel engines to be very important to the trucking industry and to our own strategy going forward. Diesel is just a tremendous choice for certain applications, such as high-load, high-torque situations,” he adds.
In addition to making changes to the company's current Duramax 6.6L for 2010, GM will also be introducing a new 4.5L engine in 2009, according to Gaydash. That engine will also be 2010 compliant.
For GM, model year changeover varies by product line, beginning as early as June or July of 2009. The medium-duty T-Series and W-Series are expected to be 2010-ready “in the January 2010 timeframe,” he says.
When it comes to pricing for the 2010 vehicles, it is too soon to quote hard numbers, explains Gaydash. “We already have a good handle on what our incremental costs will be,” he says, “but we won't price the 2010 models until we get much closer to the rollout date. That is how we always set prices. Pricing is a strategic decision based upon a number of factors, including the competitive environment at the time.
“Although there will be incremental costs, we expect to see benefits associated with the use of SCR as well,” he adds. “There is definitely an opportunity for some fuel savings, for instance, but it is too soon to talk specifics.”
Gaydash says GM is in the “test phase” now when it comes to development of the new 2010 engines and exhaust systems. “We are definitely in the test mode now,” he says, “and we are very comfortable with where we are in the process and the results we are seeing. I know some people are concerned about the future for General Motors,” he adds, “but we just celebrated our 100th anniversary and we are very committed to the future, to the next 100 years. We fully expect to continue to be a very strong competitor in all the markets we serve.”
Official word on Isuzu Commercial Truck of America's 2010 engine emissions technology will not be released until the end of the year, according to Todd Bloom, vp-fleet operations and marketing. With the U.S. leading the world in diesel emissions regulation, the solutions introduced here for 2010 will have future implications for other global Isuzu markets so the company is proceeding cautiously with public statements, says Bloom.
Despite the delay in announcing 2010 details, development work is far advanced and now in the field test phase with the production switchover to the new emissions technology only 14 months away, explains Bloom.
While ICTA is officially quiet at this point, Isuzu is already using SCR in its European models. It is also participating in the consortium of U.S. truck and engine manufacturers established to develop a distribution infrastructure of the diesel exhaust fluid needed for SCR.
The company is also considering “lean NOx trap” technology to absorb NOx in a catalyst, says Takashima Teruyuki, chief engineer for the powertrain operations of ICTA parent Isuzu Motors Ltd. The trap process is more complex but avoids the urea distribution problems raised by SCR, he says, and the company is still evaluating both approaches.
In the longer term, Isuzu is working on a new technology that could eventually eliminate the need for all exhaust aftertreatment, Teruyuki said recently at a press briefing. Called premixed compression injection (PCI), it suppresses creation of soot and NOx in the piston. Development is still in the early stages. PCI is not considered a 2010 solution.
Field tests of 2010 pilot trucks spanning all the markets Mack serves — on-highway tractors, vocational tractors, dump trucks, refuse trucks — continue at a feverish pace. About 15 demonstration trucks equipped with Mack engines are using SCR systems already in use by customers, with roughly two to three per month being added to that number.
According to David McKenna, powertrain sales and marketing manager for Mack, the pilot tests are generating a lot of positive data about SCR technology and its ability to not only reduce emissions, but also vastly improve fuel economy and engine performance compared to earlier models.
“Everything we said we could do with this emissions reduction technology we are doing — and we're exceeding our goals in some areas,” he says. “We've reduced demand for active regeneration by 80 to 100% in some cases. We're also seeing up to an 18% improvement in fuel economy over pre-2007 engines and up to a 5% fuel economy improvement over our 2007 engine package, depending on the duty cycle.”
Those gains indicate Mack could actually beef up horsepower offerings for its 2010 engine lineup without affecting fuel economy. “Right now, we're testing an SCR-equipped Mack MP8 in several vocational trucks — a 13L engine producing 485 hp.,” he explains. “In 2010, we'll be able to increase that to 505 hp. yet get better fuel economy when compared to the 485 hp. rating. That's going to give fleets in this segment a lot more torque and power for accelerating on highway ramps under load.”
Part of the fuel savings comes from a nearly six-fold extension of the active regeneration cycle necessary to remove soot collected by the diesel particulate filter. With Mack's active regeneration process consuming about a half gallon of fuel, extending the regeneration cycle saves a lot of money over time, McKenna notes.
Another interesting piece of data is that, generally, Mack is finding its SCR systems use 30% less urea — the ammonia-based fluid that reduces oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions to the mandated levels when injected into the exhaust stream — than expected. That means trucks should be able to travel farther on a single tank of urea — largely called diesel exhaust fluid or DEF — than previously thought.
One issue that's surrounded DEF is its freezing point of 12 deg. F — first becoming “slushy” before turning into a waxy, paste-like substance as the mercury dips further — and how that might impact the emissions control system. McKenna stresses that won't be an issue.
“The key thing to remember, however, is that DEF is there to neutralize NOx, which is created by high engine combustion temperatures,” he explains. “That means a cold engine isn't going to produce NOx, so you don't need that DEF right away.”
Part of Mack's solution is to make sure the supply pump runs after the engine shuts down, returning any unused DEF to the tank to empty the supply line, so it doesn't clog with cold waxy fluid. Then, at startup, a tank heater warms up the DEF little by little so by the time the truck is ready to roll, enough DEF is ready for use. “It's really a non-issue in terms of proper SCR operation,” McKenna says.
Most of Navistar's testing and development work for 2010 actually was accomplished as the engine and truck maker prepared its technology to meet the 2007 emissions standards, said Tim Shick, director of business and product strategy for Navistar's MaxxForce Engine subsidiary. Though the company is still putting a significant number of 2010 pilot test trucks on the road — 40 to 50 in total across various trucking applications — that number isn't nearly as high as the test fleet Navistar created for 2007.
“We really began working on 2010 when we were developing our 2007 solutions,” he says. “We redesigned all of our products heavily for 2007. That was the really big testing period for EGR combined with DPF technology. Now, for 2010, we're really just tweaking the package. The base engines and DPF packages won't change.”
The key to Navistar's 2010 solution is higher amounts of EGR, up to 10% in some cases, combined with higher fuel injection pressures. “Our current ‘07 engines work with fuel injection pressures in the 20,000 psi range, in the low to mid-20s, depending on the application,” says Shick. “We'll be taking that up to 30,000 psi for 2010. That higher fuel pressure allows us to control emissions rates at low engine speeds, 800 to 1,000 rpm, with minimal impact on fuel economy. That higher fuel injection pressure is the big enabler here.”
Navistar already has some 40 to 50 trucks pilot-testing engines calibrated to 2010 emissions standards across MaxxForce's entire product inventory — the MaxxForce 7 V8 6.4L engine, MaxxForce 10 and DT models (the old I-6 line), and the MaxxForce 11L and 13L “big bore” engines for heavy trucks. “All of these trucks are being tested internally right now in medium-duty, on-highway, and severe service applications,” Shick notes. “They will go out to customer fleets in the spring of 2009.”
Though Cummins Inc., which is a heavy truck engine supply partner with Navistar, has announced that it will use SCR for its on-highway products, Shick says Navistar is not at this stage changing any of its chassis designs to incorporate SCR technology. “We have no plans to put SCR systems on our trucks. Our agreement with Cummins calls for them to supply non-SCR engines and that is our position for now,” he stresses.
From Navistar's point of view, the amount of work it's done with EGR over the past several years gives the company a high level of confidence moving towards 2010 standards. “We have built two million EGR engines so far since 2002, and another 500,000 with the EGR/DPF combination,” Shick explains. “EGR to us is now a mature technology. We did a tremendous amount of testing back in 2007, 30 to 40 test trucks alone in the heavy-duty segment, racking up 2 million mi. and 40,000 hrs. of dyno time. With this amount of work backing us up, we are very confident about our 2010 solution.”
Nissan Diesel/UD Trucks
The testing schedule for the selective catalytic reduction systems earmarked for Nissan Diesel/UD Trucks is being changed somewhat, notes Dave Trussell, the company's director of marketing for its U.S. division.
Much of the on-road testing for Nissan's U.S. 2010-compliant trucks is going to be conducted in the company's home country of Japan, where SCR has been in use since 2005, with one or maybe two demonstration vehicles given to U.S. customers between May and July next year.
“We've got multiple units already on the road in Japan being tested; we're planning on getting one of these test ‘mules’ to at least one of our stateside customers,” Trussell says. “The next step in our preparation cycle is heat testing. That's what we'll be focusing on in that May-July timeframe next year.”
The nuts and bolts of Nissan/UD's SCR system have long been worked out, stresses Trussell. The testing is now focused on fine-tuning the packaging of the technology on the truck's frame rails. “The exhaust system in particular is changing a lot,” he explains. “We used to deal primarily with underframe exhaust routing. Now, especially with vocational applications, we're spec'ing a lot more vertical exhausts. And when you've got a big vocational body going on the chassis — like a street sweeper — the real estate behind the truck cab becomes critical.”
The lack of existing infrastructure to supply the urea solution, called diesel exhaust fluid or DEF in the U.S., used in SCR remains a concern, he says. In Japan, urea is available at about 800 truck stops, sold in pump dispensers right alongside diesel at the fueling island. Developing the infrastructure in the U.S. necessary for nationwide availability of urea is what will be the single toughest challenge in 2010, well beyond anything equipment-related, Trussell stresses.
“The biggest headache is developing the production and distribution infrastructure for urea in this country,” he says. “The ability to pull up to a fueling station anywhere in the U.S. and have urea available is the big concern still. That's the biggest challenge ahead of us for 2010.”
Again, though, Trussell notes that distributing urea is the key headache — not the actual supply of it. It's the same with using SCR on trucks; the challenge here is the most efficient and space-saving way to package it on the vehicle, not whether SCR itself works and lowers emissions to the mandated levels. “There's no drama here with that,” he emphasizes.
According to Paccar, parent firm of both Kenworth Truck Co. and Peterbilt Motors, for 2010 both OEMs will offer the Paccar PX-6, PX-8 and MX-8 diesel engines as well as the Cummins ISX diesel.
Alan Treasure, Paccar director of marketing, told Fleet Owner that “Paccar, Kenworth and Peterbilt are conducting extensive lab, controlled track tests, and full field tests on 2010 engines and aftertreatment systems. The testing results so far are positive, and we are pleased with the fuel economy improvements using SCR.
“We anticipate the 2010 engines using SCR technology to control NOx emissions to have improved fuel economy over the EPA 2007 engines,” he continues. “The magnitude of the fuel economy advantage for SCR engines is still being measured and validated through tests.”
As to whether the engine cooling or any other truck system will be affected by the new emissions standards or the engine designs used to meet them, Treasure says “there will not be significant system changes required with the introduction of the 2010 engines. Peterbilt and Kenworth will offer engines that use SCR aftertreatment. This system will use diesel exhaust fluid that will need periodic refills but will not cause significant changes to engine maintenance practices.
“We are confident that the infrastructure for diesel exhaust fluid [also known as urea] will be in place to support industry demand,” he continues. “Paccar is working with other SCR stakeholders to ensure availability of DEF to support our customers.”
Regarding the impact of 2010 engines on truck purchase pricing, Treasure says “it is too early to comment on pricing for 2010 engines.” As for the level of “pre-buying” that may be experienced this year and through next, he says the company has “no comments at this time regarding a pre-buy ahead of 2010.”
Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA) to date has 13 to 15 demonstration trucks equipped with 2010-compliant 13L Volvo D13 engines using SCR systems to control emissions levels out in the field and they are performing as expected, notes Scott Kress, VTNA's senior vp of sales and marketing.
“Improved fuel economy is the biggest selling point for SCR,”Kress explains. “Right now, we're seeing up to 3% better fuel economy from our SCR test trucks. That makes us more confident than ever that we've made the right technology choice.”
Kress adds that the recent adoption of SCR technology by Cummins Inc. for its heavy-duty on-highway engine products further validates Volvo's long-standing position that SCR is the right path to follow for meeting the 2010 emissions standards.
One difference between Volvo's SCR solution and that of other OEMs is that the company decided to install a heating system for the tank containing diesel exhaust fluid — a colorless, odorless liquid containing 32.5% urea (and ammonia compound) to keep it from freezing when the outside temperature reaches 12 deg. F or below.
Ed Saxman, product manager-drivetrain, notes that Volvo is drawing on its long experience with SCR in Europe and applying that knowledge to the engines being readied for North America. (All told, roughly 150,000 trucks are on the road in Europe using SCR to reduce oxides of nitrogen [NOx] emissions.) Yet, minor differences between the base engine architecture used in Europe and what's in place in North America is requiring a lot of “tweaking” ahead for 2010. “For example, we use DEF tank heaters in Europe, but over there they use a 24V system. Here in North America we use 12V,” Saxman explains.
Another challenge is that posed by onboard diagnostics rules currently being debated by the EPA and the California Air Resources Board. What's being required is the development of extremely sensitive sensors that can detect excessive NOx and particulate matter at very low levels — sensors that are very complex and have a higher risk of faults.
Aside from those issues, everything else is going pretty much as planned, says Kress. For starters, finding available “real estate” on Volvo's highway tractors for the SCR components, especially the DEF tank, hasn't proven to be a problem; and more test trucks are expected to hit the road in the coming months.