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New catalyst can reduce pollution from diesel vehicles

New catalyst can reduce pollution from diesel vehicles

These catalysts begin functioning at temperatures too high to capture a large fraction of the NOx produced, researchers said. They discovered the key chemical step that limits the performance of these catalysts at low temperature. (Image Source: University of Notre Dame)

By: PTI | New York | Updated: August 22, 2017 4:10 pm

The team focused on copper-exchanged zeolites, a particular class of catalysts used to promote the conversion of NOx into environmentally benign nitrogen gas. They discovered the key chemical step that limits the performance of these catalysts at low temperature.

Scientists have developed a catalyst that can curb emissions of nitrogen oxides from diesel-powered vehicles, an advance that may help reduce air pollution and smog. Nitrogen oxides (NOx) is a priority air pollutant that is a key ingredient in smog.

“Diesel engines power virtually all heavy-duty trucks, and NOx emissions control remains one of the key challenges facing manufacturers and operators,” researchers said. The team focused on copper-exchanged zeolites, a particular class of catalysts used to promote the conversion of NOx into environmentally benign nitrogen gas.

These catalysts begin functioning at temperatures too high to capture a large fraction of the NOx produced, researchers said.

They discovered the key chemical step that limits the performance of these catalysts at low temperature.

“We knew that copper ions trapped in the zeolite pores were responsible for the catalytic reaction, but we did not know what caused the chemical reaction to slow to such an extent at lower temperatures,” said William Schneider from University of Notre Dame in the US.

The team tracked the movement of the copper ions within the zeolite pores. They discovered that the ions were much more mobile than anyone had appreciated, so much so that they were able to swim through the zeolite pores and pair up. “We hypothesised that this pairing was key to the low-temperature performance,” said Schneider.

Researchers proved that this pairing was indeed happening during one step in the overall catalytic process. They were able to combine the experiments and computations to quantify the pairing and its influence on NOx removal. “This information paves the way to developing catalysts that outperform current formations at lower temperatures, allowing diesel engines to meet stringent emissions regulations,” said Schneider.

“Further, we think we can take advantage of the pairing process for other catalytic reactions beyond NOx removal,” he added. The study was published in the journal Science.

Ford F-150 Gets More Aluminum, Diesel Engine for 2018

Ford F-150 Gets More Aluminum, Diesel Engine for 2018

2018 Ford F150

By: Paul Ausick June 18, 2017 8:50 am EDT

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) on Friday introduced its 2018 model year F-150 pickup, sporting a smaller V-6 gasoline-powered engine the company says improves on its EPA-estimated gas mileage, along with the first-ever F-150 equipped with a diesel engine. The gasoline-powered version is expected to hit dealer showrooms this fall and the diesel is expected next spring.

The F-150 is the best-selling light vehicle in the United States and consistently contributes about a third of Ford’s total unit sales. In 2015, Ford began selling an all-aluminum bodied F-150 that weighed about 700 pounds less than the previous steel-bodied versions and the company’s sales leadership in pickups has solidified since then.

The 2017 two-wheel drive F-150 had an EPA mileage rating of 19 mpg in the city and 26 on the highway, and the combined rating of 22 mpg was the best of any full-size pickup on the market. Ford has not revealed a mileage rating on the 2018 model but the announcement noted that customers would be receiving “additional benefits [in the 2018 model] — including improved performance, capability, and fuel economy.”

The biggest news in F-150 land for 2018 is the arrival of a diesel engine. After years of rumors and speculation—and the success of the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel—Ford finally is joining the ranks of the half-ton diesels. Again, Ford is light on specifics, although the company does claim that the engine was “designed, engineered, and tested in-house.” Ford has announced that the new turbocharged 3.0-liter Power Stroke diesel V-6 will be mated to the 10-speed automatic transmission. The diesel won’t be available at launch but will appear shortly after the 2018 model goes on sale in the fall. In addition to the diesel, Ford recently announced plans for an F-150 hybrid, set to hit the market in 2020.

In addition to the changes to the F-150, Ford will begin selling an all-aluminum bodied Expedition SUV with the 3.5-liter V6 as the standard engine along with automatic start-stop technology and a 10-speed automatic transmission. Like the F-150, the new 2018 Expedition will be available in showrooms this fall.



Borg Warner Turbocharger

By: Borg Warner News Release

U.S. agricultural and construction equipment manufacturer John Deere relies on turbochargers with variable turbine geometry (VTG) from BorgWarner in keeping its engines fit for strict emissions standards.

The turbocharged PowerTech Plus™ diesel engines are fitted in agricultural and construction machinery, in machines for forestry applications and in OEM applications.

The background to the collaboration between John Deere and BorgWarner Turbo Systems includes the new Interim Tier 4/Stage III B emissions standard for "off-highway applications". This standard stipulated 50 % lower nitrogen oxide emissions than former standards. The boosting technologies from BorgWarner help ensure that John Deere equipment met the new standard.

Many years of successful cooperation.

The key collaboration between John Deere and the turbocharger specialist started back with the development of Tier 3 compliant engines. The two companies have set new standards in the off highway segment with the use of the cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and VTG turbocharger technology.

With cooled exhaust gas recirculation, the exhaust gases are initially cooled and then fed back to the fresh air feed to reduce the amount of nitrogen oxide. Compared to the turbocharging systems of other manufacturers, BorgWarner's VTG turbochargers offer more accurate control of the exhaust gas recirculation. Precise opening and closing of the turbine vanes allows the exhaust gas pressure and inlet pressure to be optimally balanced.

With Interim Tier 4-compliant engines, all VTG BorgWarner turbochargers were also equipped with the compact brushless actuator (CBA) that is specifically designed for use in highly stressed turbochargers and EGR valves.

John Deere tractor sets new records

The VTG technology from BorgWarner has already allowed John Deere Power Systems to significantly reduce fuel consumption over Tier 2/Stage II engines - even in the toughest of operating conditions.

A good example of this is the PowerTech Plus™ 9.0L engine, which employs a BorgWarner S300V VTG turbocharger. Equipped with this high-tech engine, the John Deere 8430 Tractor was able to achieve an 8.8 % improvement in diesel economy, making it the most fuel efficient row crop tractor ever tested by the famous Nebraska Tractor Test Laboratory.

The turbocharger specialist's commercial vehicle turbochargers with VTG technology are uncompromising designs geared to handling extreme environmental and operating conditions in tough off-highway applications and also offer the excellent reliability that customer in the commercial vehicle segment demand.

Diesel cars can improve air quality

Diesel cars can improve air quality

Photo: Diesel cars can emit up to six times more NOx on the
road than they do in emissions tests.
Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

By: www.theguardian.com

Car makers’ group SMMT claims latest vehicles are the ‘cleanest ever’ and vital in fight against climate change

Car manufacturers have hit back at the recent spate of negative comments about diesel vehicles, saying that the latest incarnations are “the cleanest in history” and “light years away from their older counterparts”.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said diesel cars could play an important role in helping improve air quality in towns and cities and in tackling climate change.

A government report published in April 2016 showed that diesel cars being sold in the UK emit an average of six times more nitrogen oxide in real-world driving than the legal limit used in official tests.

Since then, a number of schemes have been mooted to encourage drivers to give up diesel vehicles, including the possibility of a government-run scrappage scheme.

Last week, the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, announced a new charge on diesel cars driving into the city. Under the plans, drivers of diesel cars that are more than four years old in 2019 and petrol cars that are more than 13 years old will pay £12.50 a day on top of the congestion charge in an attempt to cut air pollution.

In a list entitled “10 facts you need to know about diesel”, the SMMT said that some recent reports had failed to differentiate between older diesel cars and those on sale today, which comply with Euro 6 emissions standards, adding: “This is unfair and dismissive of progress made.”

The organisation said the latest vehicles featured special filters and technology that converted most of the nitrogen oxide (NOx) from the engine into harmless nitrogen and water before it reached the exhaust. These cars will be exempt from the new London charges.

It added: “Contrary to recent reports, diesel cars are not the main source of urban NOx. In London, gas heating of homes and offices is the biggest contributor, responsible for 16%. While road transport as a whole is responsible for around half of London’s NOx, diesel cars produce just 11%, although concentrations will vary at different times depending on congestion.”

It said British car buyers registered almost 250,000 new diesel cars in March, more than in any month in history.

Mike Hawes, the SMMT’s chief executive, said: “Euro 6 diesel cars on sale today are the cleanest in history. Not only have they drastically reduced or banished particulates, sulphur and carbon monoxide but they also emit vastly lower NOx than their older counterparts – a fact recognised by London in their exemption from the Ultra Low Emission Zone that will come into force in 2019.”

He added: “In addition to their important contribution to improving air quality, diesel cars are also a key part of action to tackle climate change while allowing millions of people, particularly those who regularly travel long distances, to do so as affordably as possible.”

New Process Squeezes Sulfur Out of Diesel Fuel

New Process Squeezes Sulfur Out of Diesel Fuel

Photo: Premium Diesel Pump - Credit: Mark Goebel Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

By: By Katrina Krämer, ChemistryWorld on March 16, 2017

Sulfur emissions cause acid rain but a chemical reaction can remove almost all of the substance

US researchers have developed a method to dramatically lower the sulfur content of fossil fuels. Sulfur-rich fuels produce sulfur dioxide when burnt that reacts with water to form harmful acid rain, so the new work could cut pollution.

While there are reactions that can reduce fuel sulfur content to 10ppm—the current EU standard—these require high pressure hydrogen, a metal catalyst and temperatures of 400°C. Lower quality, higher sulfur content diesel is often exported to countries with less stringent standards.

Now, a US team, including John Shabaker from BP, Kendall Houk from the University of California and Nobel prize winner Robert Grubbs from the California Institute of Technology, has developed a simple, low-cost reaction that can cut the sulfur content of diesel from up to 10,000ppm to just 2ppm, well below all current emissions standards. The reaction breaks down dibenzothiophenes, hardy sulfur compounds that other methods struggle with. Two easily available chemicals—potassium tert-butoxide, a strong base, and triethylsilane, a reducing agent—promote the reaction at the comparatively low temperature of 165°C.

The team is now working on recycling the silane, which ends up as disilathiane after the reaction, and is optimising its method to work in industrial refineries.

Is Diesel Making A Comeback In

Is Diesel Making A Comeback In

Photo: Chrome Diesel Logo

By: Anton Wahlman | Mar. 6, 2017 10:28 AM ET

  1) Diesel car and light truck sales in the U.S. suffered a crushing blow when Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche abruptly left the market in late 2015.
  2) Mercedes has since disappeared, BMW has reduced its U.S. diesel offerings, and FCA is caught up in a regulatory disagreement.
  3) However, we are now seeing an onslaught of a new, long list of diesel offerings hitting the market from Chevrolet, GMC, Mazda, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover and Nissan.
  4) With all of these diesel offerings hitting the market in waves through early 2018, the next year should start to see massive increases in U.S. diesel sales.
 5) One reason this could accelerate even further from here would be regulatory relief from Washington D.C. away from electric cars.

Who would have thought it? The Volkswagen Group (OTCPK:VLKAY) diesel scandal broke in September 2015 and within a couple of months sales of all VW, Audi (OTCPK:AUDVF) and Porsche (OTCPK:POAHF) diesel vehicles came to an end in the U.S.

It got worse, with BMW and Mercedes paring down their diesel offerings in the U.S. dramatically. You can no longer get a diesel in the BMW 5 and 7 series sedans, although the 5 series will be coming back later this year. Mercedes? It canned all of them for the U.S. market, even though it says it aims to bring the GLS diesel back sometime ...soon.

In January 2017, we found out what had been delaying the approval of the 2017 model year light vehicle diesels for the Fiat-Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU) - one RAM pickup and one Jeep Grand Cherokee. Basically, the EPA and FCA are having a disagreement about regulatory compliance. Pending resolution of this conflict, FCA isn't selling any 2017 model year light vehicle diesels in the U.S. market right now.

So with Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche and Mercedes completely absent from the U.S. diesel market, and BMW (OTCPK:BMWYY) having pared back, availability of diesel cars must be fighting for a pulse, right?

Well, actually not. As it turns out, not at all.

What we are now seeing is a sudden resurgence to fill the diesel void left by Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Mercedes and (almost) BMW. This new diesel trend is coming from Mazda (OTCPK:MZDAY), Chevrolet (NYSE:GM), GMC, Ford (NYSE:F), Jaguar and Land Rover.

Let's discuss the specifics of these new diesel offerings. I am not counting the commercial-oriented heavy-duty trucks ("250"/"2500" weight classes and up), but rather the lighter trucks and cars.

First, General Motors:

GM launched the diesel versions of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize pickup trucks in late 2015. Reviews have been rave and glowing. With up to 30 MPG highway, they are the most fuel-efficient pickup trucks in the U.S. market today. The diesel versions appear to start at $36,185, as I am unable to configure a less expensive version on Chevrolet's website.

GM is about to launch the diesel version of the popular Cruze compact car. It has already been rated for fuel economy - up to 52 MPG highway and 37 MPG blended. That may be the most frugal non-electrified/hybrid car in the U.S. market today. It will begin arriving in U.S. dealerships this year, and the price starts at $24,670.

GM also is launching two similar SUVs with diesel - the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain. They will start showing up in U.S. dealerships in the third quarter, and there is no pricing or fuel economy data yet available. The base price of the gasoline version of the Chevrolet Equinox starts at $24,475, but the diesel is likely going to carry a premium.

Second, Ford:

Ford went directly for The Big Dog: The F-150, the best-selling pickup truck in the U.S., including the best-selling vehicle overall for income levels over $200,000 and $500,000 in the U.S. It is getting a diesel in the first quarter of 2018 with origins from a cooperation with Jaguar Land Rover, but has clearly been further developed and optimized by Ford for F-150 pickup truck duty.

What's Ford's market potential for diesel in the F-150? FCA at times talked about a diesel take rate for the RAM pickup truck as high as 20%. Translated to the Ford F-series, that could mean 160,000 or so diesels per year, although that's such a large number for the U.S. market that it would boggle the mind. It would dwarf all the rest of the U.S. light-duty vehicle market.

For further analogy, Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY) recently stated that the diesel take-rate on the Titan XD pickup truck - which is at least partially a higher weight class than the one we have been discussing here - is over 30% in its first year of sales. This is still interesting, because Nissan had not sold a diesel pickup truck in the U.S. market before, and this Titan XD is at least somewhat sitting just below the traditional "250"/"2500" weight class offerings.

However, with RAM out of the market at least temporarily out of the "150"/"1500" class diesel market, it could mean that Ford could rake it in here. Nissan seems to be doing its job in that regard with the Titan XD, one fractional weight class above.

Third, Jaguar Land Rover:

Jaguar Land Rover jumped into the diesel pool with full force after the Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche debacles. It now has five diesel models in the U.S. market, with a sixth one arriving by June 2017. Here are the starting prices:

- Jaguar XE (compact sedan), $38,220

- Jaguar XF (midsize sedan), $50,270

- Jaguar F-Pace (midsize SUV), $47,270

- Range Rover (large SUV), $88,645

- Range Rover Sport (midsize SUV), $68,645

- Land Rover Discovery (very large SUV), $59,945 (coming in June)

Their fuel economy ratings are:

- Jaguar XE: 32 MPG city, 42 MPG highway, 36 MPG combined

- Jaguar XF: 30 MPG city, 40 MPG highway, 34 MPG combined

- Jaguar F-Pace: 26 MPG city, 33 MPG highway, 29 MPG combined

- Range Rover: 22 MPG city, 28 highway, 24 combined

- Range Rover Sport: 22 MPG city, 28 MPG highway, 24 combined

- Land Rover Discovery: 21 MPG city, 26 MPG highway, 23 MPG combined

As you can tell, there is no question that Jaguar Land Rover is offering the broadest range of diesel sedans and SUVs in the U.S. market right now, ahead of BMW. This is unlikely to change until at least early 2018.

Fourth, Mazda:

Mazda is launching a replacement for its best-selling vehicle in the U.S. market, the small-to-midsize CX-5 SUV, at the end of March 2017. In the fall of 2017, it will be joined by a diesel version. As such, and given the overall price point of this car, it will compete most directly with the two GM SUVs that will be in the market in the third quarter of 2017.

It will be Mazda's first diesel in the U.S. market. Fear not, however, as Mazda has already been dominating diesel sales in its Japan home market. For the year that ended March 2016, 45% of Mazda's sales in Japan were diesel. In calendar year 2015, Mazda had a 67% diesel market share in Japan.

There is no pricing or fuel economy numbers for Mazda's upcoming diesel CX-5 yet, but one suspects that while it will surely show meaningfully improved fuel economy over the gasoline version, Mazda may instead emphasize performance. According to Mazda, diesel isn't only about superior fuel economy - it also has to be something that at least matches the "fun to drive" aspect of the gasoline version.

Mazda is badly in need of a new differentiator that could help re-ignite U.S. sales, as it was down over 6% in the U.S. in 2016, driven by declines in the sedan models (the SUV sales held up). Becoming the first and only player side by side with GM in that particular best-selling SUV class, to offer a diesel, might be such an opportunity.

Why is this diesel renaissance happening?

With hybrids stalling out at around 2% of U.S. sales, below even the 2013 levels, it's clear that the consumer is looking for alternatives to good fuel economy cars and light trucks. Diesel has characteristics that are different than gasoline hybrids and they are suitable for those who drive a lot of highway miles. Witness the Chevrolet Cruze yielding 52 MPG on the highway and the Chevrolet and GMC pickup trucks offering 30 MPG on the highway.

We may also see a change in U.S. government policy: here.

If this change in policy means a combination of reducing electric car subsidies/mandates, it could be favorable to the automaker economics of providing diesels instead. If these new policies are implemented - and we may find that out already this year - it could further drive offerings of even more diesel models for sale in the U.S. market, followed by actual sales numbers in the coming months and years.

Impact on the stocks: Positive

The U.S. has had a much lower adoption of diesel compared to Europe, where it has been around or even above 50% in some countries. However, the U.S. market has discouraged diesel in favor of electric cars as a result of regulatory actions and Congressional incentives. If that changes, which seems to be imminent, then automakers should benefit through higher sales and more importantly, higher profits.

And that would be good for General Motors, Ford, FCA, Mazda, Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan and others who choose to join the U.S. diesel party in the next couple of years. Diesel fans, rejoice.

Ford and Motorcraft change the oil recommendation for F-series diesel trucks

Ford and Motorcraft change the oil recommendation for F-series diesel trucks

Photo: 2017 Super Duty Ford Truck

By: Mary Conway | 2017-03-11 22:01

Ford and Motorcraft change the oil recommendation for F-series diesel trucks
Ford and its parts division Motorcraft have issued new recommendations about which oil can be used in its diesel F-series trucks. The advisory warns against using CK-4 motor oils.

In a highly unusual move, Ford and Motorcraft are changing the motor oil specified for Ford diesel engines and warning the truck owners not to use the motor oil recommended by the American Petroleum Institute. Ford apparently found excessive engine wear while testing the motor oil in its 6.7-liter diesel engines and want owners to avoid it.

Ford issued a statement saying in part, “Ford will not be recommending the use of CK-4 motor oils in any Ford diesel engines, new or old. Ford testing has shown some CK-4 type formulations have shown inadequate wear protection compared to CJ-4 formulations developed and licensed before 2016. Ford now recommends using oils that meet our OEM specification, Ford Material Engineering Specification WSS-M2C171-F1.”

Kevin Ferrick, Sr. Manager of the AOI Engine Oil Program says, "API works with engine manufacturers to set motor oil standards like CK-4, and we license oils proven to meet the standards. However, OEMs, not API, are responsible for recommending the use of oils meeting specific our standards. In this case, Ford has chosen to continue to recommend CJ-4 oils."

Ford is instead recommending a new formula that includes the properties of CK-4 motor oils plus additives for greater engine protection.

It is not unusual for an OEM to recommend that people use only their products. What is unusual, is that Ford is saying that it would be better to use CJ-4, an older formula, than the CK-4 oil. According to the Ford statement, “Years of experience and Ford testing has shown that these older CJ-4 formulations provide the necessary engine protection in all Ford diesel engines where CJ-4 and older C categories are recommended.”

Ford says that it will have a new motor oil out shortly for its F-series and other diesels. “To insure you protect your Ford diesel engine use Motorcraft Super Duty Motor meeting API CJ-4. A Motorcraft Super Duty Motor meeting WSS-M2C171-F1 will be available 1st quarter 2017.”

It is very odd for an automaker to warn against using something, when it doesn’t have the replacement available yet. A Ford insider tells me "Motorcraft did share the new oil recommendation with dealers prior to the new Motorcraft oil becoming available in order to protect the best interest of Ford customers.

The notice also directed customers to continue using the old CJ 4 oil until the new Motorcraft oil arrived on dealer shelves."

The F-series is the most important product that Ford has in its fleet and the Super Duty diesels are truly the workhorses. Ford is obviously concerned about the motor oil allowing any engine to be damaged, even though the oil was approved by the American Petroleum Insti

Parker Hannifin Completes CLARCOR Acquisition

Parker Hannifin Completes CLARCOR Acquisition

Photo: Parker Hannifin announces CLARCOR Acquisition

By: aftermarketNews Staff | Mar 01, 2017

Parker Hannifin Corp., a global leader in motion and control technologies, has completed its acquisition of CLARCOR Inc., a major manufacturer of filtration products, for approximately $4.3 billion in cash, including the assumption of net debt. The strategic transaction creates a combined organization with a comprehensive portfolio of filtration products and technologies, offering customers a single streamlined source for all their purification and separation needs.

Under the definitive agreement signed on Dec. 1, 2016, Parker purchased all outstanding CLARCOR shares for $83 per share in cash. The transaction is expected to be accretive to Parker’s cash flow, earnings per share and earnings before tax, interest, depreciation and amortization, after adjusting for one-time costs.

CLARCOR joins Parker’s Filtration Group and provides Parker with additional proprietary media, industrial and process filtration products and technologies, as well as a broad portfolio of replacement filters. It also adds more than a dozen CLARCOR brands, including CLARCOR, Baldwin, Fuel Manager, PECOFacet, Airguard, Altair, BHA, Clearcurrent, Clark Filter, Hastings, United Air Specialists, Keddeg and Purolator. In addition, Parker possesses strong relationships with OEMs and customers in international markets while CLARCOR contributes a solid U.S. presence, especially for recurring sales in the aftermarket.

“This is an exciting new journey as we work together to build the next generation of filtration,” said Tom Williams, chairman and CEO of Parker. “Our enhanced filtration presence is expected to add resilience to our bottom line, improve operating margins, and enable us to meet long-term growth goals, strengthening our ability to achieve top quartile financial performance.”

“The combination deeply expands our ability to help make our world cleaner and safer while equipping our team members with new opportunities to innovate and grow,” said Rob Malone, Parker’s filtration group president. “The acquisition also offers significant operating synergies from our combined strengths to better serve our customers.”

An integration team has been formed including employees from both Parker and CLARCOR, and a detailed integration plan is underway designed to capture synergies and allow for a smooth transition of the two organizations.

GM’s New Duramax Diesel Whisper Quiet

GM’s New Duramax Diesel Whisper Quiet

Photo: GMC Sierra Denali 2500 HD can tow up to 18,100 lbs.

By: Tom Murphy | WardsAuto | Feb 27, 2017

MOAB, UT – Duramax. Power Stroke. Cummins.
These are the diesel engine names that resonate with customers shopping for heavy-duty pickups from General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler (Ram), respectively, for towing goods that invariably are several times more valuable than the vehicles themselves. We’re talking luxurious travel trailers, thoroughbred horses, racecars and speed boats.

Which stump-pulling turbodiesel is the best? The most trouble-free? The smoothest long-haul cruiser? The quietest? The most capable at towing? Ask these questions in a room full of heavy-duty truck owners and the matter might have to be settled outside.

GM’s 6.6L Duramax V-8 is the new kid on the block, having been fully redesigned for ’17 heavy-duty Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups that went on sale in December.

This re-engineered pushrod powerplant (codename L5P) makes a compelling case for overall segment supremacy by being whisper-quiet and nearly vibration-free at idle and steady-state cruising. It tows big loads with aplomb, even on treacherously steep, narrow winding roads past spectacular rock formations here that make it awfully difficult for drivers to keep eyes pointed strictly at the road.

How hushed is the new Duramax? GM engineers will say it’s nearly 2 dBA quieter than the engine (codename LML) it replaces. But it might be more meaningful to say the climate-control fans in the well-appointed hotel rooms hosting the media drive were significantly louder than the new Duramax, especially when the truck isn’t towing or hauling a massive load.

Take the Sierra Denali HD, with its monumental 910 lb.-ft. (1,234 Nm) of torque, up to 75 mph (121 km/h) on the highway, then let off slightly on the throttle when the truck begins a gentle downhill grade. No fooling, it’s about as quiet as a Nissan Leaf.

Hitch a properly stout trailer to the back end, weighing 10,000 lbs. (4,536 kg) and packed with a GMC Canyon pickup truck, and witness the L5P Duramax earning its stripes. Finally, the distinctive diesel clatter that has been the sound signature of compression-ignition engines over the ages becomes apparent as the duty cycle demands more air and fuel and more work from the 32-port valvetrain.

“Clatter” could be construed as negative, but not in the Sierra Denali HD. In heavy-duty trucks of old, the sound was constant, loud and annoying, attempting to rattle loose one’s dental work even at idle. The new Duramax, built in Moraine, OH, does a great job masking that unpleasantness; the combustion “dieselness” comes on like an old friend who is warmly greeted upon arrival but doesn’t overstay his welcome.

GM’s fullsize HD pickups were new two years ago, and the automaker focused intently on loading up the engine bay and cabin with sound-damping material at that time. Those efforts were stepped up modestly in the ’17 trucks, while most of the engineering attention was directed at improving the engine.

The L5P Duramax redesign was extensive, resulting in 90% of parts being all-new, including the crankshaft, connecting rods, pistons, exhaust aftertreatment system, cast-iron block and aluminum heads. The torque converter was upgraded to handle the additional power.

What carries over from the last-generation LML engine are the 90-degree configuration, bore and stroke dimensions (103 mm x 99 mm), gear drive architecture, cam-in-block valvetrain, 16.0:1 compression ratio and displacement (6,599 cc).

The structural upgrades helped boost in-cylinder pressure 20% to 2,611 psi (180 bar). Key goals of the engine program were to accommodate more air, resulting in a higher maximum boost pressure (32 psi [2.2 bar] up from 31 psi [2.1 bar]), and the ability to accommodate higher exhaust temperatures.

The powertrain team wanted (and achieved) more power (up 12%) and torque (up 19%) and to enable more engine braking to prevent excessive wear on brakes.

Helping on all these fronts was a redesigned camshaft profile, all-new BorgWarner turbocharger and more-robust Inconel gaskets. The Allison A1000 6-speed automatic transmission has been improved as well.

Another important piece is the all-new high-pressure common-rail fuel injection system, which sprays fuel directly into each cylinder with the force of 29,007 psi (2,000 bar).

Bosch had supplied the sophisticated piezo-electronic fuel injectors previously (also capable of 29,007 psi), but the automaker switched for the new Duramax program to Denso, which achieved program goals with less-expensive solenoid-based injectors.

Not many pickup trucks have hood scoops, but GM’s new heavies, built in Flint, MI, have one that is fully functional (and barely noticeable), allowing more air into the engine and helping with cooling. GM has a patent pending for the new induction system.

That scoop sure comes in handy when it’s time to pass a poky driver on a 2-lane road, going uphill. With the accelerator mashed, the Sierra Denali HD 2500, weighing in at 6,532 lbs. (2,963 kg), springs to life and darts easily around Gomer.

In this situation, it’s evident how the diesel barely seems to break a sweat, launching the behemoth to 85 mph (137 km/h) while spinning at a mere 2,500 rpm. Most gasoline engines will need twice the revs to get the same job done.

But heavy-duty diesels like the 6.6L Duramax aren’t about passing. They’re about trailering. The new GMC Sierra 2500 HD can handle up to 18,100 lbs. (8,201 kg), depending on cab size, drivetrain and hitch configuration. The Sierria 3500 HD can trailer 23,100 lbs. (10,478 kg). For context, the max load equates to nearly seven Cadillac ATS sedans.

Odd that these capacities have changed so little – and in some cases have actually declined – even though the new engine is way more stout than the one it replaces. With 397 hp and 765 lb.-ft. (1,037 Nm) of torque, the old LML engine in the ’16 Sierra HD actually was rated higher, at 23,200 lbs. (10,523 kg).

Although the numbers barely have changed, the powertrain team is convinced customers will discover the new L5P tows big loads with a lot more confidence while being more efficient as well. Trucks this big do not carry EPA fuel-economy ratings, but suffice to say mileage numbers in the single digits have been common over the years, when towing.

So imagine our surprise when our first 84-mile (135-km) leg in a 4-wheel-drive Crew Cab on undulating roads from here to Colorado delivered a somewhat shocking 18.4 mpg (12.7 L/100 km). Granted, there was no cargo in the bed or trailer on the hitch, but there were three adults inside.

Towing a 7,100-lb. (3,221-kg) camper, the Sierra 3500 HD dually managed 10.3 mpg (22.8 L/100 km) on 18 miles (29 km) of steep terrain, and a Sierra 2500 HD with single rear wheels on the same route hauling the 10,000-lb. trailer with the Canyon delivered 9.5 mpg (24.7 L/100 km).

Kudos to any automaker striving for better real-world fuel economy in this segment, especially because heavy-duty trucks such as these with gross vehicle weight exceeding 8,000 lbs. (3,629 kg) are exempt from CAFE regulation.

For years, the fierce competition in this “mine is bigger than yours” sector demanded the highest possible torque rating each time an engine was re-engineered. A decade ago, it was a big deal when these workhorses broached the torque threshold of 600 lb.-ft. (813 Nm), which seems paltry now.

But times have changed, and GM seems perfectly content to let Ford’s Power Stroke 6.7L V-8 in the Super Duty pickups hoist the torque crown with a staggering 925 lb.-ft. (1,254 Nm). Instead, GM’s engineering team is proud of the new urea injection system contributing to a 35% reduction in emissions, particularly nitrogen oxides and nonmethane hydrocarbons.

These trucks are not cheap. Yes, the base price with a gasoline V-8 is $35,085, but most customers want the Duramax diesel, which is package-priced at $9,550. About 25% of all GMC Sierra pickups are heavy-duty, and the average transaction price is about $54,000.

There seems to be no shortage of well-heeled customers willing to spend $60,000 or more on the most capable diesels, and GM marketers say growth in the heavy-duty sector is outpacing that of the more-popular light-duty trucks. The Sierra Denali 2500 4WD crew-cab trucks we test drove here, featuring leather seats, premium audio, sunroof and heated steering wheel, stickered north of $70,000.

Automakers would be crazy not to exploit this segment for all they can, as long as they can.


GM says green-car buyers should consider its diesels: here's why

GM says green-car buyers should consider its diesels: here's why

Photo: 2017 Chevy Cruze

By: John Voelcker | GreenCarReports.com | Feb 27, 2017

Diesel engines will continue to appear in pickup trucks, European luxury SUVs, and at least a few mass-market crossover utility vehicles. Two of those are the Chevrolet Equinox and Mazda CX-5 crossovers that will launch for the 2018 model year. But the future of diesel in U.S. passenger cars remains far more up in the air, due to a confluence of events.

Those include continuing low gasoline prices and the high cost of necessary diesel exhaust aftertreatment systems to keep their emissions within legal limits.

Perhaps highest in public awareness, however, is the Volkswagen diesel scandal, which over its 17 months has completely removed Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche from the business of selling diesel vehicles in North America.

The bulk of the VW Groups' diesel sales were compact and mid-size passenger cars.

Now, only GM is left selling diesel passenger cars in the U.S. at the moment, in the form of its compact 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel four-door sedan and five-door hatchback.

But Dan Nicholson, GM's vice president of propulsion, wants green-car buyers not to discount diesels out of hand.

They continue to offer, he notes, superior fuel economy and lower carbon-dioxide emissions than gasoline engines of comparable power in the same models.

In an interview last week with Green Car Reports, Nicholson and assistant chief diesel engineer Mike Siegrist suggested that Chevy expects the latest Cruze Diesel to do considerably better than the first-generation model sold in small numbers from 2014 through 2016.

Calling the prospects for the diesel Cruze "promising," Nicholson suggested that GM would be happy if diesel penetration in Chevrolet's compact diesel cars reached 10 percent of sales.

That's the current level of diesel penetration in GM's Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon mid-size pickup trucks, in which a 2.8-liter 4-cylinder turbodiesel engine has been a strong seller.

Nicholson acknowledged commentary from European outlets that diesel penetration in that region—now roughly one in two vehicles sold—had peaked and would likely descend.

It might "float down to a soft landing," he suggested, but will likely not plummet and crash.

As for the U.S., though, the GM executive reiterated that "carbon dioxide and fuel economy" should be the prime lens through which all green-oriented buyers should consider diesel vehicles.

Asked about the relative wells-to-wheels carbon footprints of driving a mile on grid power versus burning hydrocarbon fuels in a combustion engine, Nicholson pivoted seamlessly.

GM offers two very good plug-in vehicles, he noted, the Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car with 238 miles of range and the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid with 53 miles of range and the ability to use gasoline when needed for longer trips.

But, he suggested, those vehicles may not be ideal for every buyer—and diesel offers another way to reduce the carbon footprint of personal transport.

"Your readers can feel good," he continued, "that our [diesel] vehicles meet the most stringent U.S. [emission] standards and deliver great carbon-dioxide numbers too."

The company's message, then, boils down to diesel being a perfectly acceptable technology for clean air—despite VW Group's sins—and more favorable than gasoline on carbon dioxide per-mile emissions.

Whether that message resonates with compact-car buyers remains to be seen.

Done deal: Navistar, Volkswagen seal partnership

Done deal: Navistar, Volkswagen seal partnership

Photo: International’s LT Series (right) drew some efficiency inspiration from the company’s SuperTruck project, pictured left.

By: Jason Cannon | @By_Jason_Cannon | March 1, 2017

Nearly six months since Navistar announced its pending partnership with Volkswagen (VW) Truck and Bus, the deal closed Tuesday, making official VW's equity investment in Navistar and the framework agreement for a procurement joint venture and strategic technology and supply collaboration.

The closing of the partnership signals that both companies have received all necessary regulatory approvals, the finalization of agreements relating to the procurement joint venture and the technology and supply collaboration and have satisfied all other customary closing conditions.

Navistar Chairman, President CEO Troy Clarke called the deal a "significant milestone in our company's history," adding, "and we expect it will create multiple benefits for both companies in both the near and long term."

Now that the transaction has closed, Clarke says the companies' collaboration will move quickly "to increase our global scale, strengthen our competitiveness, and provide our customers with expanded access to cutting-edge products, technology and services."

VW Truck and Bus CEO Andreas Renschler says the newly-founded purchasing cooperation will begin work immediately.

Effective with the Feb. 28 closing of the alliance, Volkswagen Truck and Bus acquired approximately 16.2 million newly issued shares in Navistar; a 16.6 percent stake; in exchange for $256 million.

As part of the alliance agreement, Renschler and VW Truck and Bus CFO Matthias Grundler join Navistar’s board of directors.

"Their expertise in commercial vehicle production will be invaluable as we strive to become the North American champion in our industry", Clarke says.

Bentley Bentayga Diesel (2017) review

Bentley Bentayga Diesel (2017) review

Photo1: Bentley Bentayga Diesel
Photo 2: 3996cc 32v V8 turbodiesel, 429bhp @ 3750rpm, 664lb ft @ 1000rpm

By: Georg Kacher European editor, Car Magazine, Feb. 20, 2017

Even gregarious soccer moms are better off with the standard five-seater. The price? Don’t let the £135k tag fool you. Our fully equipped test car listed at over £187k…

Bentley sold 5600 Bentaygas in 2016, which was way over target. But now that the initial hype is over, the marque quickly needs fresh product to sustain the momentum. While the V8 diesel should work well in Europe, it won’t even be sold in America, China and Japan.

But there are different derivatives to come, like an extended wheelbase show-off version, a less planet-unfriendly V6 petrol hybrid (not the V8 earmarked for the Panamera), a V8 S entry-level model and a coupe, which has to be prettier than the vehicle pictured here.

Bentley's first diesel badge on a road car

The diesel badge on the, er, Diesel is a delete option. While there is a slim chance it may curb vandalism in less affluent neighbourhoods, it sure costs in credibility when the Bentley is parked between Astons and Ferraris in the golf club car park. And it may prompt violence in traditionalists.

Historically, the diesel was a poor man’s engine of course, and a poor fit for WO’s cars. In the case of the Bentayga, however, the singing and dancing V8 pushes the art of engineering even beyond the level of the famous 6.0-litre Audi V12 TDI Ferdinand Piech built before dieselgate.

Bentley Bentayga Diesel: the spec lowdown

No fewer than three ’chargers accelerate the flow of the mixture. First is an electric compressor which lays on instant take-off torque. Next, a small low-inertia turbo joins the fray with quiet progression between 2200 and 2500rpm, adding twist action by the bagful. From 3500rpm, the third charger kicks butt all the way to the cut-out speed.

Peak torque equals a lofty flatline spanning from 1000 to 3500rpm, where 664lb ft can’t wait to trigger wheelspin meltdown. Although the rev limiter lives high up in the clouds near the 6000rpm mark, visiting it makes no sense at all, unless you insist on sampling 168mph on an empty autobahn.

Performance, acceleration times

Via a clever sliding-cam technology applied to the intake and exhaust side, the 4.0-litre V8 meanders continuously between two- and four-valve operation. It’s either minimum consumption or maximum grunt, and it obviously works by magic wand, since it is impossible to decipher the transition. Although the Bentayga V8D weighs about as much as a rhino after drinking his watering hole dry, it can launch itself in a rapid 4.8sec from 0-62mph.

The manufacturer claims an average consumption of 35.8mpg and a range of more than 600 miles, but our Midnight Emerald Shell-o-holic consumed 19.2mpg which can only be blamed in part on the enthusiastic driver. To make the best out of Rudolf Diesel’s invention, it is advisable not to wear lead-soled shoes.

And refinement?

Although it drinks the same juice as a MAN truck or a Mercedes bus, there is no way of telling the combustion method except when pulling up at a filling station. Inside, this diesel-powered cocoon is about as quiet as a pair of noise-cancelling headsets. And as far as the running characteristics go, there are no undue vibrations disturbing the creamy torque delivery.

Thanks to a bunch of mufflers, screens and filters, smelly exhaust gases are not an issue either. Instead, you’re simply taken aback by oodles of prompt and seamless forward thrust. It’s an almost turbine-like urge which can’t wait to introduce you to the horizon, the any-gear-does-it muscle more in line with a continuously variable transmission than a conventional automatic.

Ride, handling

With the exception of the available all-season tyres, which spoil the handling because of excessive slip angles and ho-hum wet grip, the 429bhp Bentayga diesel is a thoroughly entertaining all-road express.

It’s less about poise and precision and more about a blend of huge momentum, intuitive controllability, decent deceleration and responsive steering.

Even though the car’s sheer weight and mass are an obvious handicaps when going fast, the handling balance inspires confidence and the prompt feedback establishes reassuring clarity.


Those who find the set-up insufficiently sharp and responsive must wait for the W12 Speed. And despite its dynamic and economic virtues, don’t expect to see a second diesel-engined Bentley anytime soon. Instead, electromobility may soon make this combustion principle obsolete, irrespective of segment.

Porsche Panamera 4S Diesel review: world’s fastest diesel

Porsche Panamera 4S Diesel review: world’s fastest diesel

Photo: 177mph Porsche Panamera 4S Diesel

By: Ollie Kew , www.topgear.com Feb. 17, 2017

What’s this?
More car than you will ever need. Too much car, quite frankly, in the best possible way. It’s the all-wheel drive, bi-turbo V8, 627lb ft, 177mph Porsche Panamera 4S Diesel. The fastest diesel road car in history. All five metres, 2,125kg and £91,788 of it.

Where to start?

With the performance, partly because this is a Porsche capable of 0-62mph in 4.3 when specced with the Sport Chrono package that, naturally, the test car has on board. But also because this is a Porsche that delivers its performance in such an uncanny, alien way, even compared to the new turbocharged 911s, or any hybrids we’ve yet come across from Stuttgart.

Six-hundred-and-twenty foot-pounds of torque at 1,000rpm, transmitted through a new eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox. That’s a quite barmy recipe. But off-the-line grunt, the way the Panamera gets from 0-30, or 50, or 70, isn’t the optimum showcase for this tidal surge of torque. There’s a hesitation detectable as some very clever electronics clearly calibrated by some fiendishly powerful brains marshal boost, gear change, and drive distribution between the axles. You can watch this happening in real-time on one of the displays that bookend the rev counter clockface.

Where the 4S diesel’s muscularity really comes into its own is the force it’ll generate accelerating in fifth or sixth gear. Most cars are settling into a dawdle in fifth or sixth. The Panamera Diesel feels like it could a tear a hole through a hot hatchback giving all it’s got in second. The thing accelerates in a vacuum, impeded by the quantity of air it has to push out of its way, or the gravitational pull of its 2.2-tonne mass. The only other diesel road car that has such a laugh-out-loud over endowment of punch is the wonderful Audi SQ7 which, hey presto, uses the same engine.

Interesting cousins. Which is best?

If anything, the Audi set-up is slightly naughtier – it sounds more V8, less diesel as it revs out – and the Panamera appears to get carried away as you ramp up speed, overboosting and accelerating for a nanosecond even after you’ve lifted out of the throttle. It’s as if there’s so much inertia and potency wound up in the 4.0-litre V8, it can’t dissipate it all at once. Strange, especially as I don’t remember the Audi’s firepower snowballing like that.

There’s so much power, that 5,000rpm redline comes too soon every single time. It’s the only thing about accelerating in this car that comes close to feeling anti-climactic. In fact, the Panamera accrues speed so effortlessly, it not only never feels like it’s making headway as fast as it actually is, but it likes to settle at speeds that’ll get you noticed. Plus, the rear wing (a standard plank, not the fold-out theatre of the Turbo’s aerofoil) pops up at 75mph ad doesn’t sit down again until 30ish. Try arguing your way out of that.

Don’t bother with the optional ceramic brakes, either. The standard steels here are unimpeachable.

Right. What’s next?

The ride. Until autumn 2017 you can only order your Panamera with air suspension, or PASM as Porsche prefers to acronym it. £1,541 well spent, sir or madam. There’s a Normal, Sport and Sport Plus setting you can choose independently of how aggressive you’ve got the powertrain dialed up, and though the Plus setting is too resonant for UK road work, the other settings are perfectly agreeable – something of an achievement on the monstrous 21-inch rims of this car.

No, it’s never as cosseting or simply as smooth as an S-class or 7 Series. You’re always aware this is a sporting car. But this is Porsche’s interpretation of a luxury limousine, after all, so just as the steering is weighty and authoritative off-centre, the ride is concerned with controlling that enormous body’s mass, not simply soothing plutocratic backsides.

Is it at all chuckable?

The Panamera Diesel is a sporting car, but it’s not a sporty car. There is a difference. Although its controls and its behaviour want to let you in on the forces going through the car and the road surface, it’s not a car you toss around. There’s simply too much weight for that. But it is freakishly agile, and that’s enough. The sensation of the front wheels hauling the car out of roundabouts and even junctions is odd to begin with, almost hot hatch-like, but in effect, it just means you’re on the power sooner (and then off it quickly). The 4x4 system is pleasingly rear biased though, so if you’re brave and have an airfield to hand, it’ll neutralise your line on the way out a corner. Imagine being the test driver who helped set that little party trick up…

Seeing as it’s a diesel and you’re in Britain…is it economical?

Suprisingly so. I tasked the Panamera with a luggage-laden trip out of gridlocked London to Leeds and back via Lincolnshire, which for those of you in warmer, less sleety and congested climes, is a round trip of around 400 miles, mainly on dual-carriageway A-roads. Repeatedly, the car settled in the high 33s to the gallon, and at a steady, cruise-control managed schlep, surpassed 35mpg.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking ‘anyone who can afford this car isn’t worried about fuel economy’. For a kick off, no-one actively likes spending money on fuel, right? It is an almost literal burning of your hard-earned. Second, no-one actually likes refueling. It’s cold, smelly, you’re tempted to buy fat-saturated snacks and above all else, it’s an inconvenience. But with the Panamera’s 90-litre Olympic swimming pool of a fuel tank brimmed, it was indicating a 690-mile range. That in itself is a luxury. It gives the car a sense of imperiousness, that should the mood take you, it’d make Nice from London, but more relevantly, you could go a fortnight without visiting the forecourt again.

Sounds like the complete package…

It’s a very complete car. But is it too much car? Potentially, yes. The Panamera is now gorgeous, with 20mm shaved off the back of its roofline, but girth has been added to the car’s width, and in Britain, the thing just feels so bloody big all of the time, it’s a constant battle to manage the car in its lane. Funny how the Audi SQ7 never feels as cumbersome, because you’re up higher. A tick in the box for SUVs, there?

The Panamera needs a particular environment in which to thrive, and it’s no coincidence that place is free-flowing, wide autobahn-like sections of motorway; criteria seldom enjoyed on Britain’s cramped network. The Panamera Diesel is an obscenely well-engineered bit of kit (off-throttle overboost quirk aside), but where the hell do you use it to its best effect over here?

Anything else?

I’d had major doubts about the new Panam’s cabin, ditching its banks of buttons (that you could operate without glancing from the road) for uber-cool touchscreen and clickable glass panels (that you can’t). Happily, the console itself works really, really well – the haptic feedback and sensitivity of the controls has been beautifully rendered.

The configurable instrument displays are intuitive too. In the main, it’s the 12-inch PCM touchscreen that’s a headache, because its menus are so deep and detailed, and your hand comes at it at a right angle, because it’s vertical. If the screen were slightly laid back, like your phone is in the palm of your hand, it’d be less awkward to operate. In the Panamera, you’re really better off concentrating on the scenery being reeled towards the windscreen at an alarming rate.

New Chevy diesel brings global engineering to U.S. buyers

New Chevy diesel brings global engineering to U.S. buyers

Photo:The 2017 Chevrolet Cruze's 1.6L turbodiesel scored a 52-mpg EPA highway fuel economy rating.

By: Mark Phelan , Detroit Free Press Auto Critic 11:06 p.m. ET Feb. 18, 2017

The 52-m.p.g. diesel engine on sale now for the 2017 Chevrolet Cruze makes a powerful argument for the benefits automakers and their customers get from global engineering and manufacturing.

The new 1.6L four-cylinder turbodiesel gives the Cruze the highest EPA rating for highway fuel economy of any non-hybrid or electric vehicle sold in the U.S. — 52 m.p.g. with GM’s new nine-speed automatic transmission, along with 30 m.p.g. in the city and 37 in combined driving. The engine is also 50% quieter at idle than the previous Cruze diesel.

Chevrolet wouldn’t have the engine without General Motors’ product development and manufacturing operations around the world. U.S. diesel car sales are too small to justify developing and building the engine. To make economic sense, the program had to piggyback on diesel production in other parts of the world, offering U.S. buyers a choice they wouldn’t otherwise have.

The engine was developed in Italy, Germany and the U.S. It’s built in a factory in Hungary that makes engines several GM brands use around the world.

Diesels are very popular in some countries, but they account for a tiny share of American passenger vehicle sales, peaking around 3% before plummeting when Volkswagen’s diesel program went up in smoke.

Despite that, GM is optimistic about the technology’s prospects. In addition to the Cruze compact sedan and hatchback, GM will offer the new 1.6-liter diesel in the 2018 Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain compact SUVs that go on sale later this year.

“Diesels are and will remain an important part” of Chevrolet’s program to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and fuel consumption, GM vice president of global propulsion systems Dan Nicholson said, adding that the engines’ efficiency can save customers thousands of dollars in fuel bills, despite the fact that the engine adds about $2,800 to the price of a Cruze hatchback.

“Diesels present an opportunity for growth for Chevrolet,” because they combine fuel economy and high torque output for acceleration, Nicholson said.

The Cruze’s 1.6L turbodiesel produces 240 pound feet of torque and 137 horsepower.

“A lot depends on the public perception of diesel,” in the wake of VW’s emission-cheating scandal, Motor Trend magazine technical director Frank Markus said. “Chevy’s new engine has very impressive efficiency and technology.”

Chevrolet and GMC will have a total of 10 diesel vehicles on sale in the U.S. by the end of this year, ranging from the Cruze and Equinox to the Colorado and Canyon midsize pickups and heavy-duty full-size pickups. GM sells a total 34 diesel-powered vehicles around the world, including many small cars and SUVs in Europe and Korea, where diesels are very popular.

“Diesels are one of the lowest cost ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions,” Nicholson said.

Contact Mark Phelan: 313-222-6731 or mmphelan@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @mark_phelan.

Paris Bans All Diesel Cars Made Before 2000

Paris Bans All Diesel Cars Made Before 2000

Photo by Getty David Ramos / Stringer

By:By Avery Thompson Jan 24, 2017

http://http://www.popularmechanics.com Posted JAN 24, 2017

Cars designated Level 5 in new emissions categories are no longer allowed on Paris roads.

The city of Paris has announced it is banning most cars built before the year 2000, in an effort to curb air pollution. The law, which affects diesel vehicles built between 1997 and 2000, went into effect on Monday.

Paris has long struggled with the air pollution caused by its vehicles. Previously it had attempted to ban odd and even numbered cars from the road on alternate days based on license plate numbers, but that system was discontinued after it was proven ineffective. The new system sorts all vehicles into one of five categories, and requires drivers to display a sticker indicating their category on their vehicle.

Level Five contains all diesel vehicles manufactured between 1997 and 2000, and these cars are now banned from driving on Paris streets. Diesel vehicles older than this are also banned, but are not assigned to any category. It's estimated that around 6 percent of the cars in Paris fall into Level Five.

While this move should reduce air pollution in Paris, some have criticized the measure as unfairly penalizing drivers that are poor, who are less able to upgrade their vehicle. They have argued that the best way to fix the city's pollution problem is by reducing vehicle emissions rather than implementing bans.

'Rolling coal' might be outlawed in Maryland

'Rolling coal' might be outlawed in Maryland

Rolling coal is the practice of modifying a diesel engine to increase the amount of fuel entering the engine in order to emit an under-aspirated sooty exhaust that visibly pollutes the air. It can also include the intentional removal of the particulate filter. Practitioners often additionally modify their vehicles by installing smoke switches and smoke stacks. Modifications to a vehicle to enable rolling coal cost from $200 to $5,000. -- Wikipedia

By:Jake Lingeman - Jake Lingeman is Road Test Editor at Autoweek, reviewing cars, reporting on car news, car tech and the world at large.

http://autoweek.com Posted JANUARY 27, 2017

HB11 looks to pull the plug on souped-up diesels

“Rolling coal” could become illegal in Maryland as a bill makes its way through the state House of Representatives on Thursday. “Rolling coal” is a slang term for when diesel drivers tune their pickup trucks to spew black smoke from the tailpipe on acceleration. It sometimes entails increasing the power output of an engine, and it usually necessitates the removal of some emissions parts. We’ve seen videos of these guys (it’s always guys) doing this while they pass other drivers, runners or bicyclists on the road.

The bill states that it’s illegal for a driver to cause “a diesel–powered motor vehicle to emit certain clearly visible emissions onto another person or motor vehicle; providing for the application of this Act; and generally relating to a prohibition on the discharge of excess diesel–powered motor vehicle emissions.”

Ezra Finkin, director of policy of the Diesel Technology Forum, testified before the Maryland General Assembly House Environment and Transportation Committee in support of House Bill 11:

“Diesel engines have long been a popular option in heavy-duty pickup trucks because of their superior fuel efficiency and towing performance. While we recognize diesel enthusiasts' love for diesel engines and the performance of their vehicles, the practice of tampering with engines and emissions controls for the purpose of generating excess emissions on demand -- ‘known as rolling coal’ -- is offensive, unsafe and harmful to the environment. Most of all, it is not representative of the manner in which diesel engines were designed to operate.”

The bill exempts drivers of commercial vehicles with a gross weight of 10,000 pounds or more and construction vehicles. It also exempts drivers of standard diesel-powered cars that discharge visible exhaust during normal acceleration.

The bill falls under Maryland’s Section 203(a)(3)(A) of the Clean Air Act that explicitly forbids the practice of tampering with a vehicle’s emission controls and allows states to prohibit the practice.

On a personal note, we think the practice is dumb and the drivers who do it are dumber. We love tuning cars, adding parts and taking them away. But it’s always in pursuit of something nobler: speed, handling, comfort, or even efficiency. It’s never to pollute needlessly and never to anger other people on the road purposely.

To what end, we ask you coal rollers, to what end?

The Diesel Engine at 120

The Diesel Engine at 120

Illustration: Stuart Bradford


http://spectrum.ieee.org Posted 23 Jan 2017 | 20:00 GMT

It seemed a no-brainer invention, but it took quite some time to become the world’s leading source of locomotive power

On 17 February 1897, Moritz Schröter, a professor of theoretical engineering at Technische Universität, in Munich, conducted the official certification test of Rudolf Diesel’s new engine. The goal of the test was to verify the machine’s efficiency and hence to demonstrate its suitability for commercial development.

The 4.5-metric-ton engine performed impressively: At its full power of 13.4 kilowatts (18 horsepower) the engine’s thermal efficiency was 35 percent and its mechanical efficiency reached 75 percent, resulting in a net efficiency of 26 percent. With obvious pride Diesel wrote to his wife, “Nobody’s engine design has achieved what mine has done, and so I can have the proud awareness of being the first one in my specialty.” Later in that year the engine’s net efficiency reached 30 percent, making the machine twice as efficient as the gasoline-fueled Otto engines of the day.

Over time, that efficiency gap has narrowed, but today’s diesel engines remain at least 15 to 20 percent more efficient than their gasoline-fueled rivals. Diesels have several advantages: They use fuel of a higher energy density (nearly 12 percent higher than that of gasoline); their self-ignition involves much higher compression ratios (commonly twice as high as in gasoline engines), resulting in a more complete combustion and in cooler exhaust gas; their longer stroke and lower rotational rate reduce frictional losses; they can operate with a wide range of very lean mixtures, burning refined fuel of the lowest quality; they have no throttle valves; and modern common-rail fuel injection systems can spray the fuel into their cylinders at pressures of up to 300 megapascals (up from 60 MPa 50 years ago).

But, disappointingly, in 1897 the record-setting test was not followed by rapid commercial deployment. Diesel’s conclusion that he had “a thoroughly marketable machine” and that “the rest will develop automatically on its own worth” was wrong. Only in 1911 did the Danish vessel Selandia become the first oceangoing freighter powered by a diesel engine, and diesels dominated shipping only after World War I. Heavy railroad traction was their first land conquest, followed by heavy road transport, off-road vehicles, and construction and agricultural machinery. The first diesel car, the Mercedes-Benz 260D, came in 1936, but diesels never made it in the United States: Even now they account for just 3 percent of all light-duty vehicles. In the European Union, about 40 percent of all passenger cars are diesels.

Diesel’s initial hope was to see small engines used primarily by small, independent producers as tools of industrial decentralization, but 120 years later, the very opposite is true. Diesels are the uncontested enablers of massively centralized industrial production and the irreplaceable prime movers of globalization. Diesels power virtually all container ships and all carriers of vehicles and bulk commodities, such as oil, liquefied natural gas, ores, cement, fertilizers, and grain. They also power nearly all trucks and freight trains.

Most of the items that readers of these essays use, eat, or wear are transported at least once, and usually many times, by diesel-powered machines, often from other continents: clothes from Bangladesh, oranges from South Africa, crude oil from the Middle East, bauxite from Jamaica, cars from Japan, computers from China. Without the low operating costs, high efficiency, high reliability, and great durability of diesel engines, it would have been impossible to reach the extent of globalization that now defines the modern economy.

Over more than a century of use, diesel engines have increased both in capacity and efficiency. The largest machines in shipping are now rated at more than 81 megawatts (109,000 hp), and their top net efficiency is just above 50 percent—better than that of gas turbines, which are at about 40 percent (although in combined-cycle generation, using the exhaust gas to do work, turbines can reach 61 percent [PDF] net efficiency).

And Diesel’s engines are here to stay: There are no readily available mass-mover alternatives that could keep integrating the global economy as affordably, efficiently, and reliably as Diesel’s machines, born 120 years ago this month.

Here's why GM is betting on diesel

Here's why GM is betting on diesel

GMC unveiled the all-new 2018 Terrain ahead of the 2017 Detroit auto show. Smaller and lighter than the outgoing model, the new Terrain gets the choice of two turbocharged gasoline engines or a 1.6-liter turbodiesel. PHOTO BY GMC

By: Ray Ramey, Associate Editor with Autoweek.com


While some automakers are quitting diesels in the U.S. market and generally seeking to turn a page, others are taking a cue from European manufacturers when it comes to thrifty engines. Volkswagen recently announced that it will no longer offer diesel engines in the U.S. amid a flurry of new engine announcements by GM and other brands that will give U.S. buyers the diesel option in a number of unexpected vehicles.

One such unexpected vehicle is the 2018 GMC Terrain, which debuted on the first day of the Detroit auto show. When the redesigned crossover goes on sale, it will be available with a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-four gasoline engine, a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline four, and a 1.6-liter turbodiesel paired with a six-speed automatic pumping out 137 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque. That's the same 1.6-liter turbodiesel that will be under the hood of the new 2018 Chevrolet Equinox, a unit that first surprised industry observers after being announced for the Chevrolet Cruze, where it will be paired with either a six-speed manual or a nine-speed automatic transmission when it goes on sale in 2017 as a 2018 model-year vehicle.

Why the sudden turn to diesels?

As with the Oldsmobile diesels from more than 30 years ago -- an episode GM hopes we have forgotten -- the goal is fuel economy. EPA figures for the three GM vehicles have not been released yet, but the automaker hopes the Cruze will achieve better than 50 mpg highway with that 1.6-liter turbodiesel borrowed from Opel.

But the motivation for GM goes beyond mpg figures. Volkswagen's departure from the diesel game left a sizable diesel audience to be catered to because TDI models made up a large chunk of sales for some of Wolfsburg's cars.

“I am very optimistic about the diesel market in the U.S.," Dan Nicholson, General Motors’ vice president for global propulsion systems told Automotive News earlier this fall. "It has been abandoned by others, and we are happy to step in and be the leader. Frankly, that’s what we’d like to do."

According to Nicholson, the audience for diesels will not dissipate following VW's withdrawal of TDI models, even as electric cars seep into multiple segments.

“There are a lot of diesel intenders and diesel-loyal people who are looking for a brand and vehicles to go after," Nicholson added. "They tend to be more tech savvy than the average customer. And they won’t stop wishing for a diesel. And we’ll go after those customers."

More than simply filling an empty niche, GM believes the U.S. is a growth market for diesel cars and trucks, even as it forges ahead with pure electrics like the Bolt. The Bolt may just be rolling into dealerships, but GM is seeing strong demand for diesel versions of the GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado pickups.

GM isn't the only one betting on diesel at a time when VW is walking away from the technology in the U.S. Jaguar Land Rover announced plans to field more diesel models in the months before the VW diesel scandal broke in fall 2015, with the intention of making diesels a major offering on this side of the pond.

Something tells us we'll see the 1.6-liter turbodiesel in even more GM models soon.

$50m fund for plastic to diesel

$50m fund for plastic to diesel

Trimantium Capital MD Phillip Kingston and PK Clean CEO Priyanka Bakaya.
Source: David Swan.

By: David Swan, Reporter - The Australian - December 15, 2016

Melbourne-based venture capital firm Trimantium Capital is raising a $US50m ($67.8m) fund to finance the expansion of PK Clean, a firm that converts plastic waste from landfill into usable fuels such as diesel. By David Swan

PK Clean, the brainchild of Australian entrepreneur Priyanka Bakaya, has already raised funds from Goldman Sachs and government, and has a facility operating out of Utah. It has an agreement signed for its next facility in Canada and has received interest from Australian customers.

Ms Bakaya, who was educated in MIT and Stanford, told The Australian that PK Clean’s technology represented a major breakthrough to the global plastic waste problem, with 300 million tonnes of plastic produced each year and just 10 per cent of that recycled.

“Plastic comes from oil, and we’re reversing that process,” she said. “We take the plastic waste and work with local recyclers and take whatever they can’t recycle, and we feed that plastic into our continuous process; we create fuels such as diesel to be sold for industrial and agricultural usage.”

She said every tonne of plastic would yield roughly 950 litres of fuel while the process also generates its own natural gas, which gets recycled to provide enough energy to heat the system.

“It costs roughly $30 a barrel to produce diesel, which can then be sold for roughly $70 a barrel,” Ms Bakaya said.

“Plastic’s one of those things where they put it in a trash can without thinking where it ends up. Plastic takes hundreds of years to decompose, this is a huge global opportunity here.”

Trimantium Capital managing director Phillip Kingston said some local recycling firms had already flown to Salt Lake City to see the PK Clean facility there, and he expected particularly strong interest from Australia given landfill costs can be ten times higher than in Utah.

He’s raising a $US50m fund to finance the building of the next few facilities as a social impact bond that will provide a yield to high net worth families and intelligent institutions.

“There is globally a shortage of scalable social impact investment opportunities, as an institutional investor I always have trouble finding deep investment opportunities that have enough safety to be comfortable with,” he told The Australian.

“These plans are tangible, there’s an asset that sits underneath it, there’s a clear environmental benefit and it’s economically lucrative.

“PK Clean presents one of the most investable and scalable social impact bond opportunities for Australian investors seeking strong financial returns and environmental impact at a potentially global scale.”

Ms Bakaya credits her passion for the environment with the time she spent in the Australian outdoors growing up.

“I was always interested in the environment, after leaving Melbourne, I was at Stanford, but I decided to go to MIT to focus on clean energy solutions,” she said. “Plastic waste was a huge global issue no one was tackling. I don’t just want to make an app, I want to make the world a better place; it’s more challenging but ultimately more rewarding.”

New Models Fuel Diesel's Revival

New Models Fuel Diesel's Revival

2018 Chevrolet Equinox

Written by By Mike Hanley

"CARS.COM — "If you think diesel is dead, think again. Volkswagen's diesel-emissions scandal significantly tarnished the engine's reputation in the U.S., but even though VW has decided to stop selling diesels here, other automakers plan to add diesels to their lineups. And they're doing it in one of the hottest segments: compact SUVs. " Posted By Senior Editor Mike Hanley of cars.com on December 16,2016

The redesigned 2018 Chevrolet Equinox and Mazda's redesigned 2017 CX-5 will both offer a diesel engine in the U.S. next year. Official pricing and EPA fuel economy estimates aren't currently available for either diesel SUV, but some initial specifications have been released.

The Equinox uses a turbo-diesel 1.6-liter engine that makes 136 horsepower and 236 pounds-feet of torque. The engine pairs with a six-speed automatic transmission and GM estimates highway fuel economy will be 40 mpg, which is 9 mpg better than the SUV's next-most-efficient engine.

The CX-5, meanwhile, will offer a performance-focused turbo-diesel 2.2-liter engine. The engine is rated at 173 hp and 310 pounds-feet of torque in overseas markets. Jacob Brown, Mazda product communications spokesman, said those figures shouldn't change much for U.S.-spec engines.

So why are these brands launching diesel models now? "We wanted to give our customers more choices," said Kay Jarboe, Equinox product marketing manager. "The compact SUV is now the largest segment out there. It's a good time to offer a really good breadth of product." The 2018 Equinox also offers two gas engines.

For Mazda, diesel's relative uniqueness aligns with the brand. "Mazda is awfully good at finding buyers who want something a little different, a little off the beaten path," Brown said. "There's an opportunity with this [engine], especially with no dominant player in the diesel segment right now. There are buyers who will be seeking this out who've sought out other Mazda products."

Diesel also gives automakers another way to address government fuel economy regulations, which are poised to tighten in the coming years. "I think, as crossovers become more popular, [adding diesels] is a very easy way to increase your average fuel economy because you're passing your cost off to the consumer," said Dave Sullivan, an analyst with automotive research firm AutoPacific.

The diesel-engine price premium can be significant; the available diesel for the rear-wheel-drive 2017 Chevrolet Colorado mid-size pickup truck costs nearly $5,000. The upcharge for these compact SUVs, however, should be less. "Generally, [the diesel] is likely to be a couple thousand dollars more than the gasoline option," said Stephanie Brinley, a senior automotive analyst at information consulting firm IHS Markit.

Regardless of how the Equinox and CX-5 diesel engines are priced, they'll enter a market populated with increasingly efficient gas engines at a time when fuel prices are low and relatively stable. "The delta between gas and diesel continues to shrink in terms of fuel economy," Sullivan said. According to AAA, the average price for a gallon of regular gas on Dec. 14 was $2.22, or $0.21 more than the same time in 2015, while the average for diesel was $2.43, or $0.08 more than in 2015.

Modern diesels are nothing like the loud and dirty engines of the past, but the perception remains and it's been compounded by VW's diesel troubles. "The words 'clean diesel' aren't exactly going to be going over well with consumers," Sullivan said. "Trying to come up with a way to make these vehicles sound appealing is going to be a very difficult task."

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