Bosch Claims It Can Save Diesel With New Exhaust Tech

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

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.

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • ThomasSchiffer ThomasSchiffer on Apr 25, 2018

    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.

    • See 4 previous
    • ThomasSchiffer ThomasSchiffer on Apr 26, 2018

      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.

  • Voyager Voyager on Apr 27, 2018

    "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.

  • ToolGuy First picture: I realize that opinions vary on the height of modern trucks, but that entry door on the building is 80 inches tall and hits just below the headlights. Does anyone really believe this is reasonable?Second picture: I do not believe that is a good parking spot to be able to access the bed storage. More specifically, how do you plan to unload topsoil with the truck parked like that? Maybe you kids are taller than me.
  • ToolGuy The other day I attempted to check the engine oil in one of my old embarrassing vehicles and I guess the red shop towel I used wasn't genuine Snap-on (lots of counterfeits floating around) plus my driveway isn't completely level and long story short, the engine seized 3 minutes later.No more used cars for me, and nothing but dealer service from here on in (the journalists were right).
  • Doughboy Wow, Merc knocks it out of the park with their naming convention… again. /s
  • Doughboy I’ve seen car bras before, but never car beards. ZZ Top would be proud.
  • Bkojote Allright, actual person who knows trucks here, the article gets it a bit wrong.First off, the Maverick is not at all comparable to a Tacoma just because they're both Hybrids. Or lemme be blunt, the butch-est non-hybrid Maverick Tremor is suitable for 2/10 difficulty trails, a Trailhunter is for about 5/10 or maybe 6/10, just about the upper end of any stock vehicle you're buying from the factory. Aside from a Sasquatch Bronco or Rubicon Jeep Wrangler you're looking at something you're towing back if you want more capability (or perhaps something you /wish/ you were towing back.)Now, where the real world difference should play out is on the trail, where a lot of low speed crawling usually saps efficiency, especially when loaded to the gills. Real world MPG from a 4Runner is about 12-13mpg, So if this loaded-with-overlander-catalog Trailhunter is still pulling in the 20's - or even 18-19, that's a massive improvement.