4 April 2005

DaimlerChrysler announced a diesel particulate filter (DPF) retrofit package for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars, which will be available in the Fall 2005. The filter will initially be available for the Mercedes-Benz C- and E-Class models.

No technical details were given, but it can be expected that the retrofit DPF will be based on the OEM version of the filter. The Mercedes DPF system utilizes an oxidation catalyst and a catalyzed SiC substrate packaged into one housing, which is installed in the close-coupled position in the engine compartment. The filter is regenerated by adjusting various engine control functions—such as fuel injection, intake-air throttle, exhaust gas recirculation and boost-pressure control—to increase exhaust gas temperature. The filter was introduced in October 2003. From Summer 2005, it will be offered as standard on the entire range of Mercedes diesel passenger cars, from the A-Class to the S-Class, in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

In February, German government and the automotive industry have agreed on the structure of tax incentives for low-PM emission diesel cars (0.005 g/km): new cars will receive a road tax break of €350, while a tax incentive of €250 will be given to passenger cars that are retrofitted with DPFs. The promotion would start from 1 January 2006 and continue through 31 December 2007. However, the plan has not yet been finalized, as many states who are responsible for road taxes in Germany disapprove the federal scheme.

According to a voluntary commitment by the German automobile industry, all new diesel passenger cars should be equipped with diesel particulate filters by 2008.

Source: DaimlerChrysler