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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. Q:  What makes SCR a reality?

A:  First, market forces have come together to drive the adoption of SCR, both in Europe and in the U.S. SCR is the only EPA 2010 technology that is both good for business and good for the environment.

Second, SCR technology is the only emissions reduction technology that improves engine performance and fuel economy, while reducing tailpipe emissions to near-zero levels – even below the minimums mandated by EPA 2010 emissions standards and setting standards well ahead of Euro 6 which take effect in 2013.

Third, SCR technology is proven – Daimler, Paccar and Volvo, alone, have more than 200,000 trucks operating successfully throughout Europe, and both companies have vehicles in various levels of testing in the U.S.  In fact, SCR is the preferred technology of choice of all HD truck thought leaders. Detroit Diesel, along with Daimler Trucks N.A., Volvo/Mack, Cummins and Paccar will be driving the successful adoption of SCR. Projections indicate it will be used in nearly half (45.5%) of HD trucking in North America by 2013. 

Fourth, with diesel fuel hitting an all time high of $5 per gallon today, there is a real need to optimize engine performance while lowering fuel costs in HD trucking. Only SCR can help heavy duty trucks achieve the improved economics of better performance at lower cost.  The fact that SCR will be used in millions of light trucks and many of the new cars sold in 2009 will help lower infrastructure costs for the trucking industry by 2010.

Finally, with EPA 2010, the U.S. government is leading the pack in mandating near-zero emissions that can only be delivered through SCR. On top of this, states like California are leading the charge in requiring all trucks to use downstream, reduced tailpipe emissions technologies like SCR that reduce greenhouse gases as well as CO2.
SCR is the only proven solution that meets and exceeds these requirements, and the company is on schedule to meet the challenge in NA well before January 2010.

  1. Q:  How does SCR deliver better fuel economy as well as engine performance? 

A:  SCR helps the engine to work more efficiently. It allows NOx levels coming out of the engine to be driven up which drives the generation of particulate matter down. In this way, SCR reduces the need for particulate filter regeneration which burns extra fuel, and it allows the engine to run cooler and at lower EGR rates. The combination adds to greater fuel savings and better operational maintenance and economics overall.

  1. Q:  What makes SCR a smart investment?

A:  SCR increases fuel efficiency by around 3-5% - returning $3,000+/year (based on today’s diesel prices) in annual fuel savings. Its reliable and focused downstream functionality actually lowers operating costs with less operational impact and less maintenance.

SCR technology is simple and convenient. SCR engines require only a small supply of Diesel Exhaust Fluid, otherwise known as urea, to run. This supply will be readily available at fuel retailers as well as dealerships. The cost of Diesel Exhaust Fluid should be far less than the price of diesel fuel and will be available at the pump or in a variety of gallon-sized packages. It is estimated that a typical North American fleet sleeper tractor with a 20-gallon Diesel Exhaust Fluid tank will have to fill up only once about every two weeks. That same 20-gallon tank will last across two cross-country hauls or a range of 5,000-6,000 miles.

SCR engine systems perform focused functions with maximum results – no trade-offs.
That means that having SCR technology will allow the engine to work at optimum performance while aftertreatment technologies, such as SCR, take care of emissions reduction and particulate matter.     


  1. Q:  What about Diesel Exhaust Fluid (urea) availability? Will it be in place by EPA 2010?

A:  In 2009, Diesel Exhaust Fluid will be available at more than 10,000 car and light truck dealerships, various retail outlets and travel centers across the country to meet the demands of the more than 15 million SCR light trucks and cars coming into the U.S. marketplace over the next few years. This infrastructure will effectively lower the costs and drive the growth of infrastructure needed for the trucking industry, leading to attractive Diesel Exhaust Fluid pricing, bulk packaging and more than enough delivery to fuel the market by 2010.

Recent announcements indicate major investments in Diesel Exhaust Fluid (urea) production, pump and container equipment, transportation and distribution channels to serve the heavy duty trucking industry are being made now and will be in place by 2010.

Aside from OEMs, companies investing in SCR technology and infrastructure include: Terra Industries, Brenntag, Benecor and TravelCenters of America, among others.

  1. Q:  With all other new technologies there are obstacles and glitches. What obstacles and challenges do you see with the adoption of SCR technology?

A:  SCR requires a shift in mindset from expecting one engine to do everything in exchange for trade-offs and inefficiencies to an engine system of proven components that perform their specific and focused functions with precision. To meet this challenge, SCR industry experts are working with the EPA and other SCR stakeholders to create a robust education program that will make accurate information easily available to fleet decision-makers and owner/operators in advance of 2010.

  1. Q:  How can SCR be good for business as well as good for the environment?

A:  In addition to good economics, SCR makes a compelling case for improving air quality and positively impacting the environment. In fact, according to sources at EPA, SCR is the first technology in decades to be as good for business as it is good for the environment.

The Diesel Technology Forum describes SCR as one of the most cost-effective and fuel-efficient technologies available to help reduce emissions. It can reduce NOx emissions up to 90 percent, hydrocarbon and CO emissions by 50 to 90 percent, and particulate matter (PM) emissions by 30 to 50 percent. SCR systems can also be combined with a diesel particulate filter to achieve even greater emission reductions for PM.

SCR is the only feasible technology that can deliver EPA 2010 .2 g/bhp-hr NOx standards which are more stringent than Euro 4 and 5, and are well ahead of Euro 6 requirements that take effect in 2013. Today, more than 500,000 SCR trucks are operating successfully throughout Europe and the reduced emissions and improved air quality is recognized.

  1. Q:  In Europe, incentives promoted the use of SCR. What will drive NA change?

A:  As a clean emissions technology, we welcome government incentives that support SCR, but that is not likely. On its own merits, SCR makes good economic sense for the North American trucking industry. We haul larger and heavier loads. We haul those loads at higher rates of speed and over longer distances. With diesel prices at all-time highs, SCR is the only EPA 2010-technology that can actually help truckers make more money.  

  1. Q:  Some say that SCR will be costly and complex.  Do you agree?

A:  Not at all.  SCR is a focused and easy solution to a complex problem. Understanding SCR simply requires a change in mindset from one engine that does it all with trade-offs in fuel economy and engine performance, to a new engine system that delivers focused functionality.

For the fleet owner and owner/operator, SCR offers proven technology that delivers better fuel economy, improved engine performance and lower maintenance costs, while being the only feasible solution that meets both EPA 2010 standards and California Air Resources Board requirements for NOx emissions and CO2 reduction at the tailpipe.

For the driver, it will mean monitoring a new dashboard indicator and keeping a separate Diesel Exhaust Fluid tank topped off - but that won’t be needed very often – maybe only every few fill-up. A typical North American fleet sleeper tractor with a 20-gallon Diesel Exhaust Fluid tank will have to fill up only once every two weeks because a 20-gallon tank will last across a range of 5,000-6,000 miles. Supplies of Diesel Exhaust Fluid will be readily available at fuel retailers as well as dealerships. The cost of Diesel Exhaust Fluid should be far less than $5 per gallon and will available at the pump at a number of travel centers or in a variety of gallon-sized packages. Diesel Exhaust Fluid availability will be marked on travel center signage or easily located using the EPA’s Diesel Exhaust Fluid locator Web site.

For the industry, SCR offers new revenue opportunities as well as the chance to support improved fuel economy, engine performance and environmental compliance.

For the community, SCR offers the opportunity to reduce tailpipe emissions to near-zero.