The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Thursday issued guidelines for the ADBlue urea SCR systems in the new generation of diesel engines that should pave the way for "clean diesel" vehicles to be sold in all 50 states.
Urea systems, automakers such as Mercedes-Benz have argued, have several advantages over other technology to reduce diesel emissions because they can be used to meet emission limits in all markets, and they cost about half as much ($880) as an NOx trap ($1400). The EPA has been concerned about what happens when AdBlue runs out, thus requiring a warning system which could disallow refueling vehicles with low AdBlue tanks.
While all automakers who want to sell diesel cars, trucks and SUVs to boost fuel economy ratings will benefit, the ruling is especially a boon to DaimlerChrysler. Its Mercedes-Benz division has plans to market four clean-diesel models in the U.S., including the E320 BLUETEC, as well as the soon-to-be-launched BLUETEC diesel-powered versions of its popular M-, R- and GL-Class sport-utility vehicles in the United States beginning in 2008.
"Mercedes-Benz welcomes and supports the EPA's announcement on Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) guidelines, which represent a critical next step for the future acceptance of diesel vehicles in the U.S. market," said DCX chairman Dieter Zetsche. "This decision, teamed with the Agency's recent mandate for Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) fuel availability, serves to reinforce diesel's benefit as a viable alternative to help reduce fuel consumption and ultimately, reduce oil imports."