WARRENVILLE, Ill. — Navistar announced pricing for its EPA2010-compliant engines today during a conference call with members of the trade press.
Vehicles with mid-range engines such as the MaxxForce 7, MaxxForce DT, MaxxForce 9 and MaxxForce 10 will be slapped with a $6,000 non-discountable emissions surcharge. Trucks with big bore engines such as the MaxxForce 11 and MaxxForce 13 will increase in price by $8,000, the company announced.
Unlike any of its competitors, which are each relying on an exhaust aftertreatment system known as selective catalytic reduction (SCR) to meet 2010 emissions standards, Navistar has developed an “in-cylinder” solution it calls Advanced EGR. It’s simply an expansion of the company’s current exhaust gas recirculation technology.
“Meeting stricter EPA emissions levels in 2010, unfortunately, comes with a higher price,” said Jack Allen, president, Navistar North American Truck Group. “Though, we have given our best effort to minimize costs related to the robust design and development of 2010 MaxxForce engines to ensure pricing is manageable for our customers, prices will increase commensurate with our technology path and our effort to remain competitive in the marketplace.”
Navistar also took the opportunity to address several false claims that it says have been circulated by some of its competitors.
Fuel economy: Claims that SCR will deliver better fuel economy than Navistar’s in-cylinder solution are based entirely on Class 8 on-highway applications under optimum conditions, said Allen. He said Navistar’s 2010 engines will have fuel economy “equal to or better than” its current offerings. He said he’s also confident Navistar’s fuel economy will rival that of any SCR engine when you factor in the cost of urea (or diesel exhaust fluid, which is actually a mixture of urea and water). Also, Allen pointed out Navistar will compensate for any loss of fuel efficiency within the engine by improving the efficiency of the entire truck package, focusing on factors such as truck aerodynamics and rolling resistance.
Operating requirements: Despite claims to the contrary, Allen said SCR will be onerous for body builders, customers and drivers as it occupies frame rail space and requires drivers to actively monitor DEF levels and seek out sources of the fluid while on the road. He also said there will be incremental repair costs for the hardware and software associated with the SCR system.
Reliability and durability: Questions about the ability of the 2010 MaxxForce engines to deal with increased heat output are unfounded, according to Allen. He said the new MaxxForce engines inherently run cooler than their predecessors. “The combustion temperature has been lowered so the thermal stress on the engine is actually lower,” he explained. The cooling system has been improved and now features a two-stage EGR cooler. “We are putting more exhaust into the air intake but we’re not putting more hot exhaust into the 2010 engines,” Allen explained. “In fact, our air intake temperatures will be lower than our current engines.”
Residual value: Allen also confronted claims that Navistar’s engines will have little resale value as the majority of heavy-duty engine manufacturers embrace an alternative technology. “Our belief is that the technology to meet emissions is going to continue to evolve post-2010 to a non-liquid urea-based solution,” he said. He compared SCR to technologies such as VCRs and Walkmans which were eventually replaced with “more advanced, more customer-friendly” technologies and he pointed out “there are a number of high-tech companies today” testing technologies that would meet the required NOx levels without urea-based DEF.
Navistar officials also announced today that 2010 field testing is well underway, and that EPA2010-compliant versions of the big bore MaxxForce 11 and 13 engines will have racked up more than five million miles of real-world testing before their launch.
Navistar also touched on its ongoing lawsuit against the EPA, which accuses the agency of changing the rules mid-flight, benefitting engine manufacturers using SCR. The original EPA SCR guidance document issued in 2001, for instance, declared that only systems that are 100% compliant with 2010 NOx limits 100% of the time would be considered. The latest guidance issued by EPA, however, allows SCR to operate up to 1,000 miles without DEF in the tank and for up to 70 minutes in cold weather as the fluid thaws out, according to Navistar’s interpretation.
“In our mind, that’s not 100% compliant 100% of the time, that’s a loophole and it’s a loophole that in 2001 the EPA specifically said it wasn’t going to allow,” charged Allen.
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