By on April 25, 2018


Bosch says its engineers have developed a new diesel exhaust system that could lower emissions to a point where governments no longer have to worry about banning the fuel.

It’s not a defeat device.

If you’ll recall, Robert Bosch GmbH found itself caught up in Volkswagen Groups emissions scandal. Owners of affected cars accused the company of helping develop the illegal software that allowed the vehicles to fool environmental regulators. Bosch launched an internal probe as a sign of good faith and has not officially been charged with any wrongdoing by federal authorities.

That’s good news for the company, because any attempt to promote diesel-friendly equipment would have been overshadowed by a preexisting scandal — especially something as miraculous-sounding as this. 

“This breakthrough offers the opportunity to shift the heated debate over diesel into new territory and, hopefully, bring it to a close,” Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner said at a press conference outside Stuttgart on Wednesday.

According to Bloomberg, the company’s new diesel exhaust system can cut emissions below the legal limits taking effect in 2020, and should help automakers avoid the forthcoming European diving bans for metropolitan areas. Diesel is losing favor in Europe fast, but Bosch, as a major parts supplier, still has a lot riding on it. Likewise, automakers need time to adapt to a market that’s changing faster than they’re able to keep up with.

Governments started cracking down in the wake of the 2015 emission scandal, with consumers now abandoning diesel vehicles in droves. Denner’s announcement could mean they won’t have to, giving automakers and suppliers some room to breathe while electrification moves into the mainstream.

The new process optimizes thermal management of exhaust temperatures, reducing nitrogen oxide emissions to one-tenth of the legally permitted limits coming for 2020. According to Denner, it doesn’t require any new hardware and can stabilize emission levels even at colder 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,” he said.

Bosch made it clear that it supports prohibiting emissions technology that recognizes test cycles. It also reiterated that the company has continued to cooperate with authorities during their investigations.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

29 Comments on “Bosch Claims It Can Save Diesel With New Exhaust Tech...”

  • avatar

    I just got my $350 cheque from Bosch last week due to them not having any involvement in the TDI scandal. If they can actually clean up the NOx emissions from a diesel engine, good for them I guess. They definitely didn’t know how to do it legally in 2009.

    • 0 avatar

      You do realize they weren’t alone. Navistar and Cat dropped out of the highway division because they couldnt meet the standards. Cummins barely scraped by by riding on their emissions credits until they had a better grasp of the technology. I don’t condone cheating at any level but the elephant in the room is big brother setting impossible goals to meet.

      • 0 avatar

        Navistar and Cat did not get out of the on-highway business. Cat gave their big bore engine to Navistar because they had a serious stash of credits built up from introducing the PS 6.0/VT365 prior to the 07 standards taking effect, or so they thought. However the EPA said no most of those credits aren’t yours they are Ford’s. So Navistar kept selling the not quite 2010 compliant engines and paying the fines.

        Cummins did use their small amount of credits and most of those were used for engines that went Dodge/Ram trucks while the majority of their engines were compliant.

        • 0 avatar

          Cat could not comply with 2010 emissions standards and bailed until they could catch up to the times so to speak, which wasn’t until tier IV.

          Navistars history of failed emissions is so widespread it’s difficult to keep up with them but I do know the Maxforce engines did not meet compliance and paid something to the tune of $4k per engine until the EPA shut them down. This ranged from their 7 liter up to the 15 liter, these engines were substituted with a Cummins variant and continues in their trucks to this day. Their A26 engine is the only engine I’m aware of that Navistar currently makes.

    • 0 avatar

      They did know how to do it legally in 2009 it is just that VW didn’t want the cost, performance and durability problems that came with meeting the standards legally.

  • avatar

    Weren’t particulate filters and urea injection supposed to have done this already?

    “Trust us: it will work this time!”

    • 0 avatar

      The particulate filters didn’t work on NOx emissions. The Urea injection does, but not efficiently enough to meet the 2020 standards. This is just a stopgap until newer standards are adopted that diesel engines can’t meet.

  • avatar

    When they say it doesn’t need new hardware, I assume they mean no new hardware on cars that already have the DEF systems?

  • avatar

    Where are some details how Bosch expects to deal with the emissions?

  • avatar

    In other news I see where Bosch is ordering all employees to undergo mandatory training where they will be taught a “code of conduct.”

    • 0 avatar

      I remember my college business ethics class consisted of, “Your ethics are what you choose them to be.” I think it’s time for the business community to start teaching ethics again.

  • avatar

    Interesting. Still trying to wrap my head around how you cool exhaust temperatures with no new hardware and still maintain the engines desired performance levels.

    I’m sure this will be heavily scrutinized, so I suspect they have come up with something concrete. Still, its probably one of those things where if its not properly calibrated, as seems often the case, it will pollute 100 times more than allowable levels. I am sure poorly tuned gasoline engines put out greater emissions than a properly tuned engine, but its hard not to knock on pollution you can see and smell every time you are stuck behind a diesel.

    • 0 avatar


      Most impressive moonshots no longer work entirely according to spec, 20 years of abuse, neglect and sitting out in acid rain after NASA abandoned them. Yet, as opposed to launch vehicles, most cars aren’t similarly burnt up in the atmosphere after having pulled off the stunt of passing an emission test when brand new and in top tune.

      In a regime of random, annualized inspections for whatever emission standards are currently in place, new car buyers wouldn’t be quite so eager to serially fall for high highfalutin promises. Insted erring on the side of caution, lest they’d be personally liable for future upkeep. But that would put a serious dent in the hype train underpinning much of what is currently being touted as “progress.”

      On another note, Robert Bosch does run the world, so I at least hope their engineers know what they are doing…. :)

  • avatar

    But what do diesel cars have to do with European diving bans? What do they have against diving, anyway? Not enough European medal winners in diving competition at the Olympics?

    • 0 avatar

      Maybe their idea is all wet.

    • 0 avatar

      Duke, it’s the VOCs in the depilatory products used by the divers that presents the public health hazard. Being around one or two divers may be ok, but if too many of them get together, look out! That’s why the big cities have started to ban diving in city centers. At least it’s a first step.

  • avatar

    With EV R&D progress having stagnated BADLY, with ALL EVs currently produced being defective by design, having extremely short ranges and extremely long charging times along with exorbitant prices, it’s good to see proper R&D in the automotive world as well. The internal combustion engine is far from dead, whereas EVs seem to be dead on arrival.

    • 0 avatar

      Picking a diesel as the engine of choice for idling and very intermittently powering people around city centers, does strike me as making things unnecessarily hard on oneself. There are plenty of areas where diesels do make sense, but passenger car duty for (sub)urbanites is unlikely to be one of them, no matter how much technology Robert Bosch manages to throw at it.

  • avatar

    Science and technology information via press release is mostly useless. Except to the value of their stock and executive bonuses.

  • avatar

    Off on a tangent…… I can’t be the only one who has had problems with the newer gas can filler nozzles that automagically close to minimize pollution from raw gas. My problem is that it is easy for the lip (that keeps gas flowing during filling) to slip and belch out some raw gas. It makes me wonder whether the regulators ever used one. I also wonder how many miles equivalent each raw gas belch is. If only the world were the perfect place our betters envision for us.

  • avatar

    The main reason why Diesel sales have crashed is because people are afraid of purchasing a vehicle which may end up being banned. Diesel vehicles still enjoy many fans on the Old Continent. Many people, me included, still believe in and like our Diesel-powered vehicles and we depend on their fuel economy for our long distance driving. For drivers like me, who average over 40,000 km a year, a Diesel is essential to keep fuel costs in check.

    The Diesel witch hunt has already crossed over to gasoline-powered vehicles. There was recently some talk of banning older gasoline cars from the cities, which may even include my 1995 Renault Twingo, which is in the EURO2 emissions category. Furthermore, beginning in September 2018 (according to the German magazine, Auto Motor und Sport), all gasoline-powered vehicles for the European market will by law be required to be equipped with a particulate filter and a type of Urea injection for gasoline exhaust. In other words, this means more overall vehicle maintenance (and costs) and the addition of a particulate filter means constant short trips under 10-20 km are taboo or else the filter can potentially (or eventually I should say) clog/fail.

    All this added technology for the sake of cleaner emissions means more potential reliability and drivability issues. And of course added costs.

    • 0 avatar

      The direct injection gasoline exhaust particulate filter isn’t a particularly onerous component to make. And according to Mercedes/OEM is mostly self-regulating, unlike diesel which has to add diesel fuel to burn the carbon off, the so-called regeneration mode in diesel DPFs.

      The second article details how GPFs deal with steady-state running. The engine is run lean to raise exhaust temperature and burn off the soot. Normally, only deceleration or running downhill is required.

      So that’s one of your “problems” dealt with. And it’s not expensive. Nor service intensive, unlike my pal’s TDI DPF.

      As for the gasoline equivalent to urea injection, there is ZERO mention of this to be found on the web. So perhaps you can elucidate. Or is it just an urban myth intended to cheer up diesel freaks?

      If it were me, I’d rely on Bosch’s new magic diesel NOx emission reduction system mentioned here in another article today.

      You seem to have a complete misknowledge of “problems” facing DI gasoline engine soot cleanup. Sounds like the daydream hopes of a diesel lover. Cheer up, Mazda will have SkyActiv-X out in 24 months that’ll split the difference between gas and diesel.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        I don’t know if you realise gasoline engines have been incrementally increasing compression ratios chasing efficiency gains. This increases NOx production, pressure equals heats and heat allows for the chemical changes to occur to convert oxygen and nitrogen into NOx.

        Diesel on the other hand to gain efficiency has been reducing compression, as we can see with the SkyActiv diesel.

        Sooner or later there will be a point where it doesn’t matter if an engine is diesel or gasoline in creating NOx and even particulates they will be relatively equal in their production.

        As mentioned GDI engines on average produce 10 to 1 000 times the amount of particulates than a modern diesel fitted with a DPF. Gasoline engines can get around this by having both GDI and port injection, but this costs money as well. This seems to be over looked by many governments, and they are aware of this.

        I believe fossil fuels will still be around for decades to come as we find solutions to reducing emissions. The Bosch idea in this article is interesting.

      • 0 avatar


        This was mentioned in an Auto Motor und Sport article from earlier this year. I came across it in print form, not on the web.

        But here is an article (in German) for you citing the need for modern gasoline-powered vehicle to require a particulate filter if they want to fulfill the new and upcoming EURO emissions requirements. Have fun.

        The Mazda experiment is commendable but it comes across as incredibly complex – and complexity is the enemy of reliability, especially long-term. Furthmore, higher compression ratios in gasoline engines also means more NOx.

        Regarding the particulate filter and short trips, I am no engineer, but I know that this is what causes problems in Diesel vehicles. Modern Diesel cars with a DPF need to be driven for at least 40 km and during the journey there should be a situation in which the car is driven at high engine revolutions to ‘clean’ the DPF and prevent it from clogging. For most Diesel drivers in Europe whose daily trips involve highway driving this is not an issue. It becomes an issue for those who own Diesel cars and exclusively use them for short trips. Eventually the DPF clogs and fails.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Here in Australia we use diesel, but less than in the EU. We generally use diesel in large vehicles such as pickups, SUV off road wagons, etc.

      I own a diesel and will not go back to a gasoline powered vehicle, as the FE saving are quite large.

      I owned a 3.5 litre V6 4×4 SUV and driving in the Northern Territory it used around 17l/100km at 140kmph (13.84 US mpg), at 160kph it was using just over 21l/100km (11.2 US mpg).

      I bought a diesel pickup that weighs a little more, is modified/lifted and driving at 140kph+ it was returning 12l/100km (19.6 USmpg).

      The cost of fuel in the Australian Outback is rather expensive, right now it’s around $1.60 per litre ($4.56 USD per US gallon). So you can see the savings. On the east coast where I live now a Brisbane to Sydney trip (1000km) the pickup averages around 36mpg at 100-110kph.

      The diesel is also fantastic at high speed cruising, especially with gearing as it is nowadays. The high speeds sit in the middle of the torque band.

      • 0 avatar

        Big Al from Oz,

        Please to meet a fellow Diesel driver!

        I own a 2007 Mercedes GL320 CDI 4Matic and I have to agree that a Diesel motor is the ideal powerplant for such a large and heavy off-roader. The same vehicle with a gasoline motor would mean exorbitant fuel consumption and fuel costs. Even though I could afford to keep a gasoline GL running, I prefer the economy and character of the Diesel engine in this type of vehicle.

  • avatar

    “Help save the diesel” may well be a bit too late, as most European governments and in particular city governments already have made up their mind regarding phasing out diesel cars, to begin with the older and most polluting ones.

    • 0 avatar

      Cities like Paris and London, diesel cars will not be allowed in a few years, except for diesel-driven commercial vehicles, and even those may be prohibited to enter the inner city on the long run.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • thornmark: >>It is likely that battery technology will improve substantially between now and when these finally...
  • Greg Hamilton: Caddy, Smoke and mirrors indeed. In addition to the items you mentioned, if the U.S. dollar loses...
  • Scott: Looks like it already is ( and has been used as a verb for 400 years)
  • Scott: Well according to Merriam-Webster it has been used as a verb for over 400 years https://www.merriam-webster...
  • KOKing: Sub-class 4 ICE cutaways are still clearly a significant market, and I haven’t seen the Transit or...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Jo Borras
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber