Fuel consumption and exhaust emissions
In this chapter:
Authorities around the world are imposing stringent requirements on emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) from on and off-road vehicles because of their negative impact on local air quality and health.
These regulations affect the Volvo Group’s trucks, buses, machines and Volvo Penta’s products.
Volvo Construction Equipment and Volvo Penta were among the first to offer products compliant with the Tier 4 Interim emission regulation in the US and Stage IIIB in Europe. Particulate matter emissions are reduced by 90 percent in these products compared with the previous emission regulations.
As for trucks and buses, the latest regulation in the EU is Euro V, which was introduced in October 2009. The most recent regulation in the US, EPA 2010, became effective in 2010. The Euro VI regulation which comes into effect on January 1, 2013 for new type approvals and January 1, 2014 for all registration of new vehicles in the EU, reduces nitrogen oxides and particulate matter emissions by 97 percent from the level of the early 1990s, thereby setting very low levels.
The diesel engine represents the focus of the Volvo Group as it is currently the most efficient energy converter for commercial vehicles. Volvo Trucks and Mack Trucks were the first manufacturers to have their engines certified by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board as meeting the EPA 2010 emissions regulation, which is currently the most stringent standard in the world.
The vehicles that meet the demanding requirements of EPA 2010 are equipped with both Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) and Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR).
EGR lowers the amount of oxygen in the combustion chamber, which reduces combustion peak temperature and, in doing so, lowers the formation of nitrogen oxides. With SCR technology, diesel exhaust fluid, a water solution of urea, is injected into the exhaust stream to convert nitrogen oxides into harmless nitrogen and water vapor. It is necessary to use both techniques to achieve low emissions as well as high fuel efficiency in vehicles.
This unique technology has proven fuel savings of up to 5 percent compared with the previous engine model.