Daimler India Commercial Vehicles’ (DICV) BS 6-compliant medium and heavy-duty BharatBenz trucks and buses will offer Indian customers solutions they need for the future.
In line with the implementation of the BS 6 emission norms starting April 1, 2020, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) recently showcased its completely-new range of BS 6-compliant medium and heavy-duty BharatBenz trucks and buses. Besides changes in the powertrain, DICV also showcased all the features that have led to the vehicles being updated inside and out.
At a recent media event, Satyakam Arya, Managing Director and CEO, DICV, said the new BharatBenz commercial vehicle (CV) range offers Indian customers the solution they need for the future. These vehicles are setting new benchmarks for medium and heavy duty trucks with improved fuel efficiency, safety and connectivity. Meanwhile, Pradeep T, Head, Product Engineering, DICV, observed that the company has adopted selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology for the shift into BS 6 emission norms since it feels this will be the best fit for the Indian market. The new engines are equipped with industry-first features that aid in increasing the fuel economy by up to 10 % over the BS IV models.
The Indian automotive industry’s CV segment has transitioned directly to BS 6 (Euro 6 equivalent) emission standard from that of BS IV (Euro 4). The industry not only skipped one emission standard entirely (BS V), but has also carried out this move over just a three-year period. This decision had necessitated short cycles for the development of much cleaner vehicles than before. The new BharatBenz range has achieved the BS 6 compliance ahead of the deadline, for which DICV has leveraged strongly on Daimler Trucks’ global network of technological expertise. This network support has been leveraged to efficiently localise the company’s existing Euro 6 technologies for use in the Indian market.
PURE SCR TECHNOLOGY CONCEPT
It may be pertinent to mention that DICV had opted to use the SCR technology while meeting BS IV standards three years ago as well. The basis of the SCR technology is that it uses an aqueous urea-based solution known as Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) or more commonly known as AdBlue. This DEF is sprayed into the exhaust stream to break down dangerous NOx emissions into clean nitrogen and water. In line with the success achieved by DICV in using the SCR technology for its BS IV vehicles, the company decided to continue with this exhaust aftertreatment technology for the BS 6 range as well.
In the case of the new BS 6-compliant powertrains, DICV has retained the same exterior engine design from the BS IV version, but has completely swapped out the aftertreatment system for a new one. This new SCR exhaust aftertreatment system not only meets BS 6 emission requirements, but also outperforms. The aftertreatment system comes in a two-box design that has been used in US applications of Daimler’s CV models. Nevertheless, the system has been customised for the Indian usage patterns and also tested extensively, said Pradeep.
This two-box design of the SCR system is almost as large as an engine, but is segregated into five smaller partitions, which can be repaired individually, thereby reducing customer anxiety with regards to serviceability. The exhaust gas that comes out of the engine is processed across all five chambers of the aftertreatment system, which comprise three substrates, a filter and a mixer. Each substrate carries out the chemical processing of the gas, which is then screened by the filter, and finally the mixer enhances the efficiency of the overall system. The new design of the diesel particulate filters (DPF) present in the aftertreatment system would not require any cleaning for about two years, noted Pradeep.
There are multiple sensors across various points within the SCR system that have been placed to monitor it and ensure it is working at the best efficiency. The data collected by the sensors are also used to offer customers insights into the performance of the system and enable predictive maintenance, when required.
While the engine remains unchanged from the outside, it features a larger bore that helps in increasing the efficiency of fuel burning, and also enhances the overall durability of the engine. In addition, the turbocharger and accessories of the engine have been optimised to enable the engine to perform at a lean mixture and the best output, in order to deliver superior fuel efficiency. Lastly, the entire system from the engine outlet till the tip of the exhaust has been highly insulated. This not only protects technicians and customers from excessive heat when they are working on those components, but also facilitates improved thermal efficiency that directly contributes to improved fuel economy, explained Pradeep.
FEATURE UPGRADES BEYOND POWERTRAIN
Apart from a completely reworked powertrain, which now surpasses BS 6 emission requirements, the new range also features other changes, including a new exterior styling, featuring a distinctive front grill and bumper spoiler. The interiors come equipped with air suspended seats, power windows, soft cruise control, and gear shift advisory to optimise fuel consumption. The BharatBenz range is now also furnished with ‘ProfitTechnology+’ – a package of technologies and features ensuring industry-leading fuel efficiency, safety, comfort and reliability of the vehicles.
An important new technology that the BharatBenz trucks and buses will feature is Daimler Truck Asia’s telematics solutions ‘Truckonnect’ and ‘Bus Connect.’ These connectivity-enhancing services enable operators to track and analyse individual vehicles or entire fleets in real time. The most vital benefits of Truckonnect include improved fleet & fuel management, reduced running costs, increased utilisation of assets and improved driver performance.
Bus Connect, on the other hand, will cater to passengers as well as operators. While passengers can select routes, receive tracking alerts, access on-board entertainment and also earn reward miles, operators will get fleet summaries and reports that will improve fleet administration. In the future, BharatBenz buses will come equipped with ‘ETec,’ which is the new future-ready electrical and electronic architecture that offers an advanced human interface, easy fault detection, chassis-body CAN interface, and next-generation electronics.
The newly-launched BS 6 range of trucks and buses from DICV have achieved, and to some extent even exceeded the requirements of the stipulated Indian emission limits. The new 3.9 l engines for the medium duty trucks have power ratings from 140-170 hp, while the heavy duty models feature 7.2 l engines with power ratings from 230-280 hp. The cost of these BS 6 models are expected to be higher by 10-15 %, when compared to their BS IV counterparts. The cost can be pared-off from the total cost of ownership (TCO), which is claimed to be lower than before. The service intervals for the heavy duty trucks have been increased from 50,000 km to 60,000 km, and the overall service cost of BS 6 trucks will be 6 % lower, informed Pradeep.
It is clear that DICV has attained BS 6 compliance through the deployment of the SCR technology in India, making its vehicles cleaner, while offering improved levels of efficiency and lower TCO. Furthermore, enhancements to the exterior & interior design, comfort, convenience, connectivity and safety elevate the overall technological features in the products to make them stand out from competition.
TEXT: Naveen Arul