International expects 2007 changes to cost at least $7,000

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Technology related to meeting 2007 emissions standards will add at least $7,000 to the cost of a new truck, says Dee Kapur, president of the International Truck and Engine Co. truck group.

Like other truck and engine manufacturers, International will rely on increased cooled exhaust-gas recirculation, optimized combustion and diesel particulate filters to meet those standards in its medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks and engines, according to officials participating in a conference call with trucking journalists Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Kapur says the company’s experience with emissions-friendly school buses over the last six years – part of its “green diesel” initiative – will help it meet more stringent emissions standards.

“All this additional equipment and technology comes at a price,” Kapur says. For medium truck and bus, prices probably will increase between $5,000 and $6,000; Class 8 products will go up between $7,000 to $10,000.

The company says any loss in fuel efficiency will depend heavily on application. Trucks operating on the highway under heavy loads, in areas with high ambient temperature — like the American Southwest — may experience very little fuel efficiency loss because there will be little or no need for regeneration of the diesel particulate filter. Trucks in applications where particulate won’t be burned off by consistently high exhaust temperatures may lose efficiency because of the need to regenerate the DPF more often.

International is testing its 2007 models in the field. The company will increase the volume of exhaust recirculated in order to further lower cylinder temperatures and NOx, and will use a ceramic particulate filter in both its I6 and V8 medium-duty engines. Combustion optimization by further developing the combustion system – altering the injector spray and swirl patterns in the combustion chamber – also will help meet the stringent standard.

The company says it also is working with its Class 8 engine partners to meet 2007 emissions standards. While there will be increased heat rejection in the Class 8 models, company executives stated that they had been able to avoid disturbing the aerodynamics of its vehicles in providing the increased cooling that would be necessary.

International’s Patrick Charbonneau says the company is involved in a coalition with the American Trucking Associations to support HR 3301/S1240, a pending bill that would give a 5 percent tax credit to anyone purchasing a new truck during 2007.

The company says it will look at clean NOx traps as well as selective catalytic reduction to meet 2010 emissions levels. The company also continues to develop its own Class 8 truck engine, but remains silent as to specifications on its planned 11- and 13-liter “big bore” offering, Kapur says. “We’re just starting to get prototypes for road tests.” That engine goes into production in fall 2007.