At an event after its annual general meeting, Bosch announced a new diesel engine technology that reportedly slashes oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions.
The engineering and automotive parts supplier claims vehicles equipped with this new technology can hit NOx output figures as low as 13mg per kilometre, with test vehicle averaging 40mg/km.
That’s well below the current real driving emissions (RDE) limit of 168mg/km, as well as the 120mg/km limit due to come into force in Europe from 2020.
Bosch says its “decisive” breakthrough has occurred “over the past few months”. To handle enthusiastic drivers, the new system features a more responsive turbocharger optimised for RDE, and an improved airflow management setup with “high- and low-pressure exhaust-gas recirculation”.
As for driving in congestion, Bosch has employed a “sophisticated thermal management system” to keep exhaust gases hotter than 200 degrees Celsius to “ensure optimum NOx conversion”.
Above: At its announcement event, Bosch allowed journalists to drive a prototype vehicle and measured its real driving emissions.
According to Bosch, the new system allows diesel engines to work “below the legally permitted level” regardless of whether the car is driven fast or slow, in winter or summer, or on a freeway or when stuck in traffic.
Additionally, it said the new technology does “not significantly impact consumption”, meaning equipped diesel cars theoretically maintain their fuel use and CO2 output advantages over similarly-specified petrol engines.
Given the system consists of components already available, it’s being offered immediately to automakers, and shouldn’t carry any great cost penalty.
Last year Bosch settled litigation in the US for US$328 million ($434 million) for its part in the Dieselgate emissions cheating scheme implemented by the Volkswagen Group, although the company strenuously denies any involvement, stating it “neither acknowledges the facts as alleged by the plaintiffs nor does Bosch accept any liability”.
Pointedly, the company states “functions that automatically detect test cycles is strictly forbidden” and “products must not be optimised for test situations”.
Volkmar Denner, CEO of Bosch, also called for “greater transparency for the consumer and more focused climate action”.
In particular Denner wants “transparent assessment of the overall CO2 emissions produced by road traffic, including not only the emissions of the vehicles themselves but also the emissions caused by the production of the fuel or electricity used to power them”.
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