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Germany’s KBA approves first SCR retrofit kit for diesel cars

7 August 2019

Germany’s Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA, Motor Transport Authority) has approved the first retrofit SCR system for diesel cars. Two versions of the SCR kit have been approved, applicable to a number of 2008-2017 Euro 5 models by Daimler (C220/250, E220/250, GLK220, and V220—all powered by the OM651 diesel engine) and by Volvo (R5 diesel engine).

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Daimler announced it will support the SCR retrofit of the affected Mercedes-Benz models with a subsidy of up to 3000 euros. The company has set up a website for their customers to apply. The subsidy will be available in areas that face driving restrictions for older diesel cars.

The system has been developed by Dr Pley Engineering & Consulting of Bucharest, Romania, with a German office in Bamberg, Bavaria, and will be manufactured by BOSAL.

In the aftermath of the Volkswagen emission scandal, German authorities allowed cities to implement traffic restrictions on diesel cars, so-called “diesel bans”, to reduce air pollution. These policies have been rightfully criticized as being largely ineffective for air quality improvements, corporate-friendly, and against the principles of social justice—they stimulate the purchase of new vehicles, while placing a disproportionate burden of compliance on the poor who cannot afford new cars.

As several cities are implementing the “diesel bans”, German consumer groups have pressured automakers to endorse hardware retrofits to reduce NOx emissions from in-use diesel cars—instead of lobbying for customers to buy new cars—and to pay the costs.

Hardware retrofits of Euro 5 diesel cars have been enabled by technical regulations issued by the Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur (BMVI, Transport Ministry). When issued, the regulations were criticized by Volkswagen, who advised its customers against having hardware retrofitted by third-party providers. “All of the concepts that we know of so far bring disadvantages for our customers such as increased fuel consumption and therefore increased CO2 emissions, and even a reduction in performance in some cases,” said the company.

Source: KBA | Dr Pley | Automotive News