DOSSIER I Green Fleet Management
Not the end of the road for internal combustion Efforts to reduce polluting emissions are intensifying, but combustion engines are not going to be disappearing from our roads any time soon. On the contrary - they are going to need updating again.
ybrid and electric solutions offer manufacturers tempting opportunities for reducing consumption; however they always incur a significant additional cost. Such technologies are restricted to a few specific models, and they are not yet suited to all categories of vehicle. In the vast majority of cases, traditional combustion engines will remain dominant in the automotive industry for the time being. But even so, the writing is on the wall for them, in view of the imminent arrival of new anti-pollution standards. The new European Euro 6 standards are set to come into force on the 1st of September 2014 for all new applications for approval and, a year later, for new registrations of existing models. Under the Euro 5 standard, there was a drastic reduction in the emission of fine particles for diesel engines; this new development focuses on emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx). These are gases that are directly harmful to humans and released in the most part by diesel engine technology. The end for diesels with no SCR filter? The initial logical consequence of the tightening of these standards is that diesel will only continue to be used to power models for which it is really necessary. The reality is that diesel engines will disappear from the city car sector.
FLEET EUROPE # 68
Midsized models will be made to observe the drastic new standards without needing to adopt additional means of filtration, but this will not apply for the most cumbersome models.
Audi A3 berline
Following the widespread use of particle filters in diesel engines, enforced under the Euro 5 standard, the Euro 6 standard will trigger the blanket rollout of another type of post-treatment for gas emissions SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) filters. These enable (harmful) nitrogen oxides to be converted into nitrogen (an inoffensive gas, the principal constituent of air) and water. To bring
about this process, a small reservoir of a urea-based liquid called AdBlue needs to be carried on board (in the majority of cases). This system has been in use for heavy goods vehicles for some years, so there are plenty of AdBlue distribution pumps along our roadsides. The good news is that drivers of cars where this system is fitted should not need to keep stopping to fill it up. The reservoirs in private cars fitted with SCR filters will generally last for between 15 and 20,000 km, so this will become part of standard maintenance. The bad news is that the time between visits to the garage is expected to be less than with traditional modern engines without this filter, so running costs will increase slightly as a result. Nevertheless, this system offers an appreciable advantage from a technical point of view: by leaving the process to a post-treatment system for purifying emission gases, manufacturers can concentrate their efforts on engine output (by increasing the combustion temperature and compression level, for example) and thus reduce fuel consumption/CO2 emissions. CO2 is king Even though it is not one of the emissions directly targeted by the Euro 6 standard, the level of waste CO2 in cars will still need to be appreciably reduced in the medium term. Europe has just agreed that emissions in new
Published on Jan 24, 2014