Bosch Diesel “Breakthrough” Would Help Meet CO2 Targets.
Fitch Says This Would Ease Pricey Pressure To Produce Electric Cars.
German engineering giant Robert Bosch’s new diesel exhaust system might be the silver bullet Europe’s car makers have been dreaming about as their sales of diesels plummet.
It might also ease the pressure on car manufacturers for an early, and very expensive, switch to electric cars.
According to a report from Fitch Ratings, Bosch’s technology breakthrough, which is said to slash nitrogen oxide emissions from diesel engines, has the potential to reverse some of the recent problems.
Big manufacturers have yet to confirm this will be a viable new system for them.
Diesel engines have been subsidized by European governments for years because their superior efficiency compared with gasoline was said to help in the fight against CO2-induced global warning. But recently, environmental groups across Europe have pointed to diesel pollution as causing a huge amount of premature deaths. They have been demanding curbs on diesel access to cities and an end to the subsidies on diesel fuel.
A recent court case in Germany gave the green light to curbs on diesels, and sales of the vehicles have plunged. Resale values have been trashed. The European industry was relying on diesel power to meet tougher E.U. emissions and fuel economy rules. If they fail to meet these targets financially crippling fines will be handed out.
Bosch said its technology cuts emissions far below legal limits taking effect in 2020 and can help automakers avoid driving bans which threaten to doom the technology.
Bosch said its new process optimizes thermal management of exhaust temperatures, slashing nitrogen oxide emissions to one-tenth of the legally permitted limit, and doesn’t require new hardware. The system keeps emissions stable even at cold temperatures.
“With this new exhaust technology blanket driving bans in the centers of the world’s major cities will no longer be an issue. Why? Because we now have the technology to resolve the problem of nitrogen oxides in road traffic,” Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner said, according to Automotive News.
Bosch gave no more details.
Fitch Ratings said if this works as claimed, car manufacturers will breathe a sigh of relief, and it will ease the pressure to quickly switch to electric vehicles.
“If the proposed technology provides the silver bullet Bosch hopes, it could allow manufacturers to rebalance their planned portfolios to get more of the fleet-wide efficiencies they need to achieve from diesel efficiencies rather than electrification. In a recent report we highlighted the unpopularity of diesel as one of the things that had encouraged manufacturers to step up their plans for EV (electric vehicle) adoption,” Fitch Ratings said in a statement.
Slower EV pace
Bosch’s announcement, if the technology works and gets widespread take-up, will lead to slower EV adoption, Fitch said.
Diesel’s decline dates back a couple of years to the start of VW’s dieselgate data manipulation scandal.
In Germany, Europe’s biggest market, diesel sales dived to just over 30 per cent of the market in March, from 45.1 per cent in January 2017. Diesel sales are sliding across Europe. In 2011, 55.7 per cent of all new cars sold in Europe were diesel. This has been on the slide and by 2025 diesel’s share of the market could reach to between 15 and 25 per cent.