Bosch claims breakthrough towards clean diesel engine

Bosch claims breakthrough towards clean diesel engine

Technology News |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

It was not only in Germany that the diesel scandal triggered a furious public debate: In autumn 2015 it came to light that Volkswagen had incorporated an algorithm into the electronics of its diesel vehicles that produced an unrealistically low value for the vehicle’s NOx emissions on the test bench. This primarily affected the members of the Volkswagen Group – VW, Audi, Porsche, Skoda and Seat. But other OEMs were also involved in the scandal, as was the tier one supplier Bosch, who according to press reports had developed the fraud software. The reputation of diesel technology dropped so much in the following period that used diesel vehicles are almost unsaleable in Germany today.

Now Bosch wants to leave the shame of the scandal behind with a new technology. “The diesel engine has a future. Today, we want to put an end to the debate about the end of the diesel engine,” explained Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner at the presentation of the technology on the day the company presented its financial statements.

Not only on test benches, but also in real driving mode, new technology is to undercut the current limit values for NOx emissions; even the stricter limit values planned for 2020 are to be undercut. Bosch promises an emission value of no more than 40 milligrams of NOx per cubic meter of exhaust gas, even in city traffic (the limit value for 2020 is 120 milligrams). To this end, Bosch developers have devised a new injection technology and revised the air system. Temperature management has also been refined. The new technology should not require any additional hardware components and will therefore not be more expensive than the engines available today, says Denner.

With this new development, Bosch wants to keep the diesel drive as a bridge technology alive until the introduction of electric mobility for the masses. “We continue to believe that the highly efficient diesel engine will play an important role in the drive mix of the future,” Denner said. Diesel engines contribute less to CO2 emissions than petrol engines.

Even with the technology now presented, the development of the diesel engine has not yet been exhausted, Denner said. Bosch aims to further reduce emissions by using artificial intelligence. He held out the prospect that diesel engines would not produce more than 1 microgram of NOx per cubic meter of ambient air in the future. An ambitious goal: the current limit is 40 micrograms.

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German automotive industry should clean its act, think microelectronics suppliers

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