Editor’s Note: Seven U.S. motorhome builders will be circulating the following letter over the next few weeks in support of Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology, one popular answer to the Environmental Protection Agency’s stringent 2010 diesel emissions standards. The letter, we’re told, will also be available at the 48th Annual National RV Trade Show, Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 in Louisville, Ky., from the manufacturers as well as their chassis supplier, Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp.
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE RV INDUSTRY
Dear Business Partners and Customers:
During the past decade, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has focused its efforts on reducing the amount of emissions diesel engines release into the atmosphere to achieve cleaner air and a cleaner environment. OEMs, working with the EPA, have risen to the challenge, developing engines that emit nearly zero emissions. The most recent, and for now, the final round of regulations went into effect Jan. 1, 2010, requiring engine manufacturers to implement solutions to significantly reduce the ejection of soot, ash and nitrous oxide (NOx) into the air.
To meet the new requirements, the majority of engine manufacturers – in fact, all but one – have chosen Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology. Why did we choose it for production in our motorhomes? Because SCR technology is simple, clean and reliable.
Unfortunately, the sole manufacturer utilizing Advanced EGR technology, which is not yet available on the RV market nor a proven technology, has created confusion for the industry by misrepresenting the truth about SCR.
Let’s let the facts speak for themselves.
Fact: SCR works. Prior to release, SCR clocked more than 30 million test miles in the U.S. Furthermore, more than 600,000 trucks and RVs running hundreds of millions of miles in Europe currently utilize SCR to meet the European standards.
Fact: SCR delivers better fuel economy. Customers can expect up to 6% better fuel economy with SCR-equipped 2010 engines versus EPA 2007 engines. We expect further improvements compared with engines equipped with Advanced EGR, and we look forward to the day that they are available to test against.
Fact: Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) is readily available and at a cost equal to diesel fuel. The average RV owner, travelling about 10,000 miles in a given year, would only need to refill the DEF tank about three times. The fluid is available at auto part stores, filling stations and travel centers across the country. And refilling the tank is as quick and easy as refilling windshield wiper fluid. An in-cab gauge will repeatedly alert the driver well in advance of when a refill is needed. If the driver chooses to ignore the multiple warnings, the engine will gradually and safely derate.
Fact: SCR improves driver satisfaction. SCR-equipped engines have better horsepower and torque with the same packaging as the EPA 2007 version.
The facts are all there. SCR is the best option on the market, which is why we have chosen it as the right solution for our customers. The ultimate choice is yours. However, if you focus only on the facts, the best choice should be apparent.
Michael R. Terlep, president of Coachmen RV
Jim Jacobs, general manager of Entegra Coach
John Cunningham, general manager of Forest River
Dick Parks, Newmar CEO and chairman of the board
Bill Fenech, president of Thor Motorcoach
Tim Tiffin, general manager of Tiffin Motorhomes
Robert Olson, chairman, CEO and president of Winnebago Industries
After seven months’ production of its EPA 2010 certified and compliant engines, Cummins Inc. announced Monday (Aug. 23) that it has built and shipped over 20,000 Heavy-Duty and MidRange engines with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) exhaust aftertreatment, and at the end of August, this number will crest at 26,000. These engines are delivering on the company’s promises of better fuel economy, better reliability and better performance, according to a news release.
“Our technology experience and our own testing of the alternatives to meet the EPA 2010 emissions levels give us great confidence in our SCR solution, and we are confident that SCR is the right technology for now and for the future,” said Rich Freeland, president – Engine Business.
“The fact that SCR is the right technology is being proven in the marketplace every day with our industry-leading engines. To date, the reliability data show that this has been our best launch ever. Our 2010 products are delivering up to 6% better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions, and they are meeting the near-zero emissions levels required by EPA 2010 standards,” Freeland said.
Cummins has a history of technology leadership in diesel emissions controls and has been on a long-term path to provide a stable, reliable product architecture for its customers. Cummins was first to certify to the EPA 2002 on-highway standards using cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) and added Diesel Particulate Filters (DPFs) for 2007. Perhaps most significantly, Cummins was the first to meet the 2010 emissions standards – a full three years early – with both the Ram Turbo Diesel and the Cummins Westport ISL G. During this time, Cummins was already producing Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems for Europe and is now the leading manufacturer worldwide.
Cummins has developed and certified 13 engine families to the EPA and California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations to serve over 60 OEM customers in 180 vehicle installations. The ISX15 Family 1 engines feature On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) with improved emissions control warnings and alerts to the vehicle operator. OBD will be required by the EPA and will be featured on all engine families beginning in 2013.
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.