It's not something you see every day. There, at one table, were the CEOs of most of the heavy-duty truck and diesel engine manufacturers doing business in North America, and they were all presenting a united message: you have nothing to fear from Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) and Diesel Emissions Fluid (DEF) in 2010.
The event was the "SCR CEO Summit," held on March 19th at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, KY, and the CEOs in question spoke to a full house about their common choice to use SCR technology to meet the 2010 EPA diesel engine emissions standards. They were in fighting mood, ready to counter what they see as misinformation being spread by Navistar/International, the only engine OEM to choose Advanced EGR over SCR.
Here are excerpts from the CEOs' comments:
President & CEO, Daimler Trucks North America
"Did you ever imagine a day when an environmental mandate would deliver technology that is as good for business as it is for the air we breathe?
"Early measures to clean up the pollution from gas engines led to widespread adoption of fuel injection, variable valve timing and electronically-controlled ignition. In turn, these led to tremendous enhancements in driveability, performance, and fuel consumption.
"And the drive to reduce the emission of oxides of nitrogen from diesel engines has had a similar effect. But one of the key differences for commercial diesel engines has been that some of the purifying technologies have had a detrimental impact on engine performance, durability, and fuel economy. With SCR, that negative trend is stopped.
"In fact, it is reversed. And that's good news for all involved...
"Selective Catalytic Reduction helps us meet the 2010 standard... but it brings other benefits, too. By substituting a small amount of a substance that is made from natural gas widely available here at home for a larger quantity of diesel fuel, it helps reduce our dependence on imported oil.
"It improves the economics of a trucker's business, by reducing diesel fuel consumption. And the virtual elimination of NOx will lower the nation's health care bill, as well as reduce suffering and premature deaths.
"SCR is NOT a new development. It's been used for decades to clean emissions at electrical generating stations. It's been deployed in huge numbers in Europe and Japan, both for commercial vehicles and passenger cars. We are simply bringing this proven and cost-effective clean air technology to Canadian and American truck operators. And there is no doubt that SCR will be adopted in other nations, like Mexico, whose air quality standards lag the 'triad' countries by a step or two.
"The four of us produce the ONLY engines in volume production today that will still be available after the new standard comes into effect. So, when we say our engines will burn up to five percent less diesel fuel after the first of the year, we speak with authority born of experience.
"It might shock you to learn that we DID explore other ways to comply with the 0.2 g/bhp-hr standard, as far back as ten years ago. And we decided to go with SCR because it was the better answer for our customers, not because it was somehow an advantage for us... The other technologies burned too much fuel, weighed too much, needed oversized cooling systems that affected packaging in the worst way, and were a mess to install.
"Some of our European competitors in fact introduced engines without SCR when the EURO IV standard went into effect in 2006, but their customers quickly rebelled, and they followed up with the right answer, introducing SCR as quickly as they could.
"...for the immediate, and the foreseeable future, nothing beats diesel engines with SCR for the commercial vehicle customer. The only technology proven to be as good for business as it is for the environment, SCR may be the "silver bullet" we've all been waiting for..."
President & CEO, Volvo Trucks North America