30 November 2006
Just before the Los Angeles Motor Show, DaimlerChrysler, Audi and Volkswagen announced they will jointly establish the BLUETEC brand name as the designation for clean diesel passenger cars and SUVs marketed in the USA and Canada. The brand name will be shared among diesel-powered Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Volkswagen, and Jeep vehicles. BLUETEC diesels meeting the Tier 2 Bin 5 emissions and, thus, eligible for sales in all 50 US states, will be launched in 2008 (as model year 2009 vehicles).
The BLUETEC name was introduced by DaimlerChrysler for its European heavy-duty vehicles equipped with urea (AdBlue)-based selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology. Last month, DaimlerChrysler launched the Mercededs E320 BLUETEC in the North American market, the only model year 2007 diesel passenger car in the United States. The 2007 E320 car however uses NOx adsorbers, rather than urea-SCR, and has been certified as Tier 2 Bin 8 vehicle (it cannot be sold in states that adopted California emission standards).
BMW, who considered it earlier, has not joined the BLUETEC group. BMW will launch Bin 2 Tier 5 passenger cars in 2008 under its own brand name. The vehicles will also use urea-SCR technology for NOx control.
The US EPA has recently published a draft guidance outlining the intended rules for emission certification of engines and vehicles using urea-SCR.