22 November 2008

The Chicago-based Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) issued a statement affirming that its members are “on schedule and ready” to meet the US EPA 2010 diesel engine emission standards. “Engine manufacturers have invested heavily in engineering technological solutions and design changes to meet the new NOx emission standard that is required for 2010 model-year engines and see no technological barriers to meeting the standard”, said the EMA.

Addressing current economic conditions, the EMA recognized that fleet owners and operators, as well as engine and vehicle manufacturers, are experiencing very difficult times. Customers also have questions regarding new and unfamiliar technology that will be required for 2010 vehicles—presumably urea-SCR. These uncertainties have the potential to impact new vehicle sales over the next couple of years. On those issues, the EMA said it continues to support efforts to provide financial incentives to customers and early adopters of the 2010 technology.

The EMA statement has been issued after the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), supported by Navistar, called to delay the 2010 emissions standards due to the high added cost of the NOx emission control systems. OOIDA cited a study by NERA Economic Consulting, which attempts to estimate the pre-buy of 2009 trucks and its effect on the annual NOx emissions in the United States. The study was sponsored by Navistar.

The call to delay 2010 standards has not been supported by other industry groups, including the American Trucking Association (ATA).

Navistar is the only engine manufacturer who intends to meet the 2010 standards through advanced combustion, without the use of urea-SCR technology for NOx control. Initially, the non-SCR approach was also followed by Cummins, who recently changed its 2010 strategy to adopt SCR, apparently due to fuel economy issues with non-SCR engines.

The Navistar’s call to delay 2010 standards, and the lack of support from manufacturers who adopted the SCR path, seems to suggest that the non-SCR engine technology has not yet reached sufficient maturity. While research engines have been demonstrated that can meet the 2010 standards without SCR, the SCR approach appears to offer better overall fuel economy. This could potentially hurt the Navistar attempt to enter the Class 8 truck engine market.

Source: EMA