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Daimler Takes Issue with Navistar’s Studies

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July 22, 2010 by RV Business  Leave a Comment

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Editor’s Note: The following “talking points” were distributed on behalf of Daimler Trucks North America following  a workshop held earlier this week in El Monte, Calif., on the topic of selective catalytic reduction (SCR).

We thought you might appreciate a little balance and perspective on behalf of SCR stakeholders and the rest of the trucking industry right about now. Below, please find Daimler statements about recent Navistar studies and issues as well as Volvo’s published statements. These points might help in preparing insightful, more accurate and balanced reports on SCR technology which meets all federal and state 2010 emissions criteria and is in full production and in the field. As you will see, the comments below relate to flaws in the studies and issues advanced this week by Navistar.

Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) Statement re: Navistar Studies on SCR distributed July 19 on fluid efficiency and July 20 on emissions.

The credibility or validity of the test published by Navistar cannot be judged without revelation of more details. We run stringent fuel economy tests at Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) which are both accurate and substantiated. We test back-to-back componentry which is comparable from both a truck and an engine perspective. Ratings, displacements, truck configuration and more are matched to achieve valid results. The combination chosen by our competitor does not comply with these basic premises for proper engineering work and thus doesn’t provide a trustworthy result.

The 440-mile test run by our competitor is not appropriate for testing modern EPA 2010-compliant trucks. Running such a short distance test tampers with the outcome by calibrating regeneration intervals to occur immediately before and immediately after the test is completed. DTNA’s BlueTec Detroit Diesel engines regenerate after thousands of miles, not hundreds of miles. The longer the test, the more realistic the results and the closer they are to what a customer would experience in real world operations. DTNA has built more than 3,000 EPA 2010-compliant Cascadias with DD15 engines and more than 2,000 full production vehicles are currently running every day in customer fleets. Numerous customers running real life tests had completely different results and they have found Freightliner to be the best solution.

In order to get a truly accurate and reliable comparison between vehicles, the use of comparable products with equivalent drivetrain components is a must. We’re eagerly anticipating acquiring an EPA 2010 certified series production 12.4L MaxxForce engine in order to run our own comparison study.

In the end, customers have voted loud and clear for Daimler’s BlueTec solution. Daimler Trucks North America has logged more than 25,000 EPA 2010 SCR-equipped orders. We are unaware of any announcements made by Navistar on their sales track record in this category to-date.

It is neither appropriate nor credible to compare the 12.4L MaxxForce “mystery” engine with proven technology available in the market. A statement by JPMorgan issued just yesterday in an investor guidance statement picked up on public websites effectively refutes Navistar inferences from the study. In it, JPMorgan clearly articulates “the apples-and-oranges flaw in the comparison and questions Navistar’s intent in commissioning the study.” We agree with that statement.

Daimler Trucks North America offers the following information re: the EPA/CARB Workshop.

  • Members of the Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) regulatory and engineering teams attended the workshop co-hosted by the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board.
  • Data collected by DTNA and reported to agencies for compliance certification of its Detroit Diesel engines with BlueTec emissions systems comes after completion of more than 30 million test miles, including several million customer freight hauling miles in DTNA EPA2010 trucks.
  • DTNA’s EPA2010 trucks have been built on the assembly line in full production mode since the beginning of 2010 and, to date, Freightliner has built more than 3,000 EPA2010-compliant Cascadias with DD15 engines. Over 2,000 DTNA EPA2010-compliant trucks are running in customer fleets already, with customer orders for more than 25,000 EPA10 vehicles to date, including 16,565 Freightliner-brand trucks.
  • DTNA’s BlueTec emissions systems operate as designed, meeting federal and state air quality standards that reduce particulate matter and nitrogen oxides to near-zero levels without the use of credits.
  • DTNA testing and customer experiences also validate that DEF refilling inducements work to consistently and effectively keep each DTNA vehicle operating in compliance with 2010 emissions standards.
  • The company will not comment on technologies manufactured or actions taken by other companies.

Meanwhile, Volvo Group defends SCR at environmental workshop – Truck News – 7-22-10

EL MONTE, Cal. — Representatives from Volvo Group attended a recent workshop with environmental regulators, initiated by Navistar to raise concerns about selective catalytic reduction (SCR).

The company strongly defended the effectiveness of SCR and warned against revamping the regulations with the roll-out of EPA2010-compliant engines already well underway.

“We question the need to make modifications to SCR strategies just six months after SCR products were brought to market,” said Steve Berry, director of government relations with Volvo Powertrain. “These strategies were thoughtfully developed in good faith by EPA, CARB and EMA, applying their collective best judgment to balance SCR operation with other critical issues, not the least of which is safety.”

Volvo raised the point that unjustifiably limiting engine torque excessively could cause safety concerns on the road or strand drivers in the middle of nowhere in adverse conditions.

Berry went on to say “We have seen no evidence of DEF refill or SCR tampering issues in the field and believe it is premature to impose new restrictions in the absence of any evidence of need.”

John Mies, vice president, corporate communications with Mack and Volvo called out Navistar.

“The fact is that a Mack or Volvo truck running at 0.2 grams (per brake hp/hr NOx) is and will continue to be much better for the environment than a Navistar truck running at 0.5 grams – and no amount of changes to the inducement strategies will change that,” he said. “Let’s make sure that what we do is truly in the interest of the environment and the public. And let’s not penalize those who have worked with you in good faith, and reward those who are trying to manipulate the system for their own competitive advantage.”

Volvo Group has already delivered more than 3,500 Volvo and Mack engines with SCR in North America and has received orders for more than 10,000.

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