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Navistar says EGR-based 2010 solution ready to roll

WARRENVILLE, Ill. -- Navistar held a conference call with trade press editors yesterday to reaffirm its commit...

WARRENVILLE, Ill. — Navistar held a conference call with trade press editors yesterday to reaffirm its commitment to an EGR strategy for EPA2010 emissions standards.


Unlike all other heavy-duty engine manufacturers, Navistar insists it will meet EPA2010 emissions standards without the use of an exhaust aftertreatment system, known as selective catalytic reduction (SCR), which requires the addition of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF).


“There is no doubt we can meet the 2010 emissions levels, we have trucks out there doing that today,” said Tim Shick, director of marketing with Navistar’s engine group.


Navistar plans to ramp its way up to EPA2010 emission levels by cashing in credits it collected by exceeding previous emissions requirements. Its in-cylinder solution will increase the amount of exhaust gas recirculated into the cylinder by about 10%, Shick explained. Meanwhile, the company will boost injection pressures to increase engine efficiency and it may also move to a five-stage injection cycle so fuel is burned more efficiently, said Shick.


The cooling system will be upgraded to handle the increased heat generated by the engine, but Shick pointed out “The engine will run at the same temperature (as today), it just takes more cooling capacity to get there.”


A recent NERA Economic Consulting study, supported by Navistar, suggested 2010-compliant Class 8 trucks could cost US$7,000-$10,000 more than today’s. However, yesterday Navistar officials said purchase price has yet to be determined. The company is still working with suppliers to determine pricing, Shick said.


“I can say with full confidence we will be competitive in price.”


And the company insisted it will also be competitive when it comes to total cost of ownership, which the SCR camp has argued will be in its favour. That’s because those using SCR can retune their engine, dialing back EGR levels to optimize fuel-efficiency. However, Navistar officials insist their EGR solution will use the same amount of fluid as vehicles equipped with SCR as they travel down the road.


“We believe that both vehicles will use the same amount of liquid fuel, we’ll use only diesel fuel and we believe a like amount of diesel plus urea will be used for the SCR solution,” Shick said. “We believe the cost of urea is the sensitivity here – until the infrastructure is established, it could vary somewhat.”


Bob Carso, director of marketing, global brand strategy, Navistar engine group, added “We believe urea is a secondary fuel that will have a cost that will be at least as much as diesel. We have data showing at the retail level it’s extremely expensive. We have paid $19.04 including tax for a half-gallon of diesel exhaust fluid in a packaged scenario.”


SCR proponents say DEF will be available for less than that (possibly even less than diesel) in bulk and “at the pump” at truck stops.


Navistar’s Debbie Shust also promised Navistar will offer a 2% fuel savings over today’s truck and engine package, thanks to continued improvements in aerodynamics on International tractors. While she said the MaxxForce engine will be “fuel neutral,” she pointed out “enhancements to the design of the vehicle will allow us a 2-plus per cent gain.”


Simplicity, however, seems to be the biggest selling point for Navistar’s EGR-based 2010 solution.


“It’s business as usual for fleet owners,” Shick said.

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