Navistar changing exhaust technology for 2013

Updated Dec 19, 2012

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Navistar International Corp. on Friday, July 6, announced plans to use a new diesel emissions technology for its MaxxForce 13- and 15-liter engines that now rely solely on exhaust gas recirculation.

The new aftertreatment technology is called In-Cylinder Technology Plus (ICT+), said Dan Ustian, Navistar chairman, president and chief executive officer, during a conference call. No specifics were given on the technology, and Navistar took no questions during the call.

Based on its brief description during the call, ICT+ sounds similar to the selective catalytic reduction emissions systems used by all of Navistar’s heavy-duty engine competitors in the United States.

However, in slides accompanying the presentation, Navistar presented ICT+ as distinctly different from “liquid-based aftertreatment” systems. SCR uses urea-based diesel exhaust fluid. ICT+ combines the “best attributes” of the company’s current EGR solution with a urea-based treatment system to reduce emissions, spokesman Steve Schrier said after the call.

Navistar’s MaxxForce 13- and 15-liter engines will use ICT+ beginning early next year.

Navistar took advantage of banked emissions credits from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to work on its EGR-only solution past the Jan. 1, 2010, EPA deadline. However, those efforts failed to deliver a compliant engine, and the company’s bank of emissions credits is reported to be dwindling rapidly.

A federal appeals court on June 12 rejected EPA’s ruling that allowed Navistar to sell heavy-duty diesel engines that don’t meet the agency’s 2010 emissions standards limiting the amount of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) in diesel exhaust.

An interim final rule (IFR) issued in January allowed Navistar to pay fines and continue to sell the noncompliant engines. Mack Trucks and Volvo Group North America then sued EPA over the IFR, arguing, among other things, that the agency had failed to give adequate notice and opportunity for comment.

With the new technology, “we have a high degree of confidence in the certainty of approval by the EPA,” said Troy Clarke, newly appointed president of Navistar’s truck and engine business. “Based on what we’ve seen so far with new technology, we’re excited. We are looking at meeting EPA’s 2014 and 2017 greenhouse gas standards early.”

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Clarke – who is reported to be working hard to mend fences with EPA and the California Air Resources Board – said both agencies were “encouraged and supportive” of the company’s new emissions approach. “We will manage this transition using both EPA credits and noncompliance Penalties in some states,” Clarke added. “And we have been assured by both EPA and CARB that we will have more detailed discussions with them regarding our solutions.” Schrier added that Navistar will continue to produce “compliant” engines for the remainder of this year, using remaining credits and NCPs.