Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) has been in the country for about half a decade, and has been offering trucks and buses across various categories in India. The company markets its two brands – Mercedes-Benz and BharatBenz in the country, and also exports its BharatBenz trucks as FUSO branded trucks to 15 countries.
The company recently launched the BharatBenz line-up of Bharat Stage IV (BS IV) heavy-duty trucks (HDT), as well as its new 16-tonne intercity bus. In separate events, Erich Nesselhauf, Managing Director and CEO, DICV and Markus Villinger, Managing Director, Daimler Buses India, spoke about the new line-up of products, their BS IV technologies and new business initiative.
DICV first announced the upgrade of its entire domestic product portfolio in line with BS IV emission norms, with the launch of a new HDT range. The new BharatBenz HDT range is equipped with technology that meets the new BS IV emission standards, delivers better fuel economy and has lower maintenance costs. The range includes three product families of haulage trucks, construction trucks, and tractors, which are all available in base and premium variants for the first time.
The trucks will use the OM906 engines that have been offered earlier, with the addition of an after treatment system technology to meet the new emissions standards. The trucks will be offered in various Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) options, with the engine being tuned to offer different levels of power output.
The new BharatBenz HDT range features fuel efficiency improvements in a double-digit percentage, which has been achieved through the technology used for achieving BS IV norms. Other improvements, in the form of optimised auxiliaries, aerodynamic changes and friction reduction have also helped in increased efficiency. Lower maintenance costs are realised by high-durability design of all aggregates; longer, synchronised driveline oil change intervals, and through a differential lock buzzer to warn the driver when differential lock is active. In addition to this, weight reductions achieved in the new range have generated corresponding payload improvements of up to 400 kg.
The other new launch for DICV was the 16-tonne, 12-metre, front-engine BharatBenz intercity coach, which completes the brand’s bus line-up. The BharatBenz 16-tonne intercity coach is available in two variants – 43 pushback seats without calf support and 30 pushback seats with calf support. It is powered by a 6,373 cc, six-cylinder, BS IV, turbocharged engine delivering 238 hp of power and peak torque of 850 Nm. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission with overdrive.
BS IV TECHNOLOGY
DICV said that in simple terms, BS IV is the norm that the Indian Government has set to control exhaust emissions. The norm seeks to use technologies to curb the four main pollutants present in the exhaust emissions – carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. Of this, particulate matter is one of the highest concerns, and BS IV reduces up to 80 % of this when compared with BS III technology.
The new BharatBenz engines achieve BS IV norms using an after treatment system based on Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology. SCR technology uses an aqueous urea-based fluid called AdBlue, which is sprayed into the exhaust stream to break down dangerous nitrogen oxides emissions into harmless nitrogen and water. Nesselhauf noted that SCR technology has been used in hundreds of thousands of Daimler commercial vehicles for over a decade now. The company continues to use its OM906 engine, but now with the SCR technology that controls all the emissions in the exhaust after treatment system. This ensures that there isn’t any new system in the engine, thereby helping the dealers and mechanics to continue working on these engines as before.
The improvement in fuel economy is also achieved by using SCR technology, since all the emission control processes are carried out separately in the exhaust system. This helps cut the emission control role played by the engine, which can work optimally to ensure better efficiency and resulting fuel economy. In addition, SCR technology also allows BharatBenz BS IV vehicles to operate with BS III fuel if required. The company said that the technology being used by its competitors, to meet BS IV norms, is exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). BS III fuels contain a higher content of sulphur than BS IV fuels, which does not work well with EGR, leading to corrosion in the engine and clogging of the exhaust systems.
Nesselhauf said that the company is continuing to maintain a high level of localisation of between 85-90 %, and the increase in exports shows that the quality provided by local suppliers matches global standards. The company is expected to gain on business, since it has already sold over 1,000 BS IV trucks and has offered its new range at the same price as the outgoing BS III range. DICV is also preparing for the upcoming BS VI norms, where it will work on localising global Euro 6 technology to work in domestic conditions in India.
TEXT: Naveen Arul