emissions of nitrogen oxides by around 80 per cent. This means that these vehicles already fulfil the EURO 5 exhaust gas standards, which will first become binding in 2009 for trucks.Basically, the “adblue” additive is added in the exhaust line, reacting with the nitrogen oxide in the catalytic converter to form ammonia, which is then converted into water and nitrogen. The vehicles are notified when the adblue gets low, and just like the gasoline gauge gets lower, there will be notification when you have only 10 starts left, then 9 and finally when you have only one start left. The car will not start once the additive tank is empty, just the same as if you ran out of gasoline. The tank is configured to have enough adblue to run between normal oil fills, at which time it will need to be refilled.
Hybrids still have the question of battery life and what to do with Nickel Metal Hydride batteries. There will be questions to answer, such as what happens as the car ages and is resold. If oil changes are not free for the entire lifetime of the car how does one get the urea in their tank? Every new technology is going to bring new problems to be solved, but we, as a country will solve them through real world use and through even newer technologies.
Honda was the first hybrid to market, but Toyota has taken the lead dog role. Toyota didnt let the government requirements stop them from creating a car that did better than government requirements of fuel or emissions. Mercedes will have to do the same with diesel-hybrids if they are going to take the lead in that technology.
Chrysler has also been working on SunDiesel, a Biomass to Liquid (BTL) using the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis process. This process allows even residual materials like wood cutting and straw to be converted to diesel. Biodiesel (also known as plant methyl ester -pme) uses only plant fruit’s that contain oil. EU subsidies are making this diesel competitive with diesel fuel from petroleum. According to Mercedes, SunDiesel would reduce CO2 in BTL by 90 percent.
The question is whether Dieter Zetsche understands the importance of this reveal, or if he believes in it. All the Manufacturers are jumping on the hybrid bandwagon, but Bluetec is the first real technology that has the ability to meet clean diesel emissions in the United States and Japan. Zetsche just came on board as President of Mercedes, just in time to present the hybrids, but they werent his idea.
Europes requirements of NOX emissions is 200mg/km, but with Bluetec Mercedes can take those emissions down to 50mg/km. This is the time for Mercedes to step up and use the technology because they can, because it is better than any other technology out there. Not because it is required by a government, but because it will raise the bar higher and faster than any other Manufacturer will be able to do. And because it will make Mercedes Toyotas biggest competition on a environmentally global level.