Frost & Sullivan forecasts Gasoline Particulate Filters to climb from 50,335 units now to 4.2-4.6 million units by 2020
Gasoline direct injection (GDI) is a strategy to improve fuel efficiency that is rapidly gaining market acceptance. However, unlike conventional gasoline engines, gasoline direct injection engines produce particulate matter, as do diesels, and emission controls will become an issue the technology must address as standards for particle mass tighten, and also as standards for particle numbers emerge.
In a 2013 study, a team from Ford’s Research and Advanced Engineering group in Dearborn noted that because the efficiency advantage of homogeneous GDI is not as large as with diesel engines, the use of gasoline particulate filters (GPF) is a less practical solution to PM emissions aftertreatment. Accordingly, there are significant research efforts—including Ford’s own—aimed at understanding how PM emissions can be reduced by engine design (e.g., fuel injection timing, number of injections, fuel pressure, injector placement, etc.) and fuel properties. (Earlier post.) Nevertheless, Frost & Sullivan projects the number of engines equipped with GPFs will climb from 50,335 units today to 4.2–4.6 million units by 2020. (“Analysis of the GPF Market for Passenger Cars in Europe and North America”)
Several OEMs are working on combustion optimization and injection technologies that reduce particulate emissions in engines rather than through exhaust after-treatment. Nevertheless, emission mandates are coaxing OEMs to employ fuel-efficient technologies such as gasoline direct injection, which in turn will drive the need for complementary after-treatment systems like GPFs.—Frost & Sullivan Automotive and Transportation Senior Research Analyst Arun Chandranath
Although current emission regulations, globally, do not warrant a GPF until at least 2017 when Euro 6(c) will be implemented, some OEMs will start integrating GPFs into their gasoline direct injection (GDI) vehicles even before 2017. Daimler is leading the way in GPF adoption with its 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-500 being the first passenger car to be equipped with a GPF.
Frost & Sullivan projects that Western Europe will lead in the adoption of GPF, accounting for 79.0-82.0% of total GPF installations by 2020. This is primarily due to the 6x1011 particles/km regulation which will be brought into effect by Euro 6(c). Prospective implementation of a 1mg/mile particulate emission regulation by the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) closer to 2020 will increase uptake in North America to about 13–15% of the total volume. Volumes in Eastern Europe will remain very limited and will account for less than 5% of total GPF installations.
Frost & Sullivan expects the Volkswagen group to lead in terms of volumes, accounting for about 24.0–27.0% of total volumes, followed by Daimler and BMW, each accounting for 12.0–14.0%. Ford and GM, will account for 11.5–13.5% and 8.5–11.0% of the total GPF volume respectively.
While GPFs provide a filtration efficiency of more than 90%, the inherent drawback of increased exhaust back pressure affects fuel economy. Improved material selection and design will be crucial to decrease exhaust back pressure as well as costs. To that end, long-term collaborative relationships among suppliers and OEMs will be essential.
Innovation at the supplier end to effectively design efficient models and widen the operating limits of systems will play a pivotal role in lowering initial and maintenance costs. Consequently, uptake will surge and OEMs will be better positioned to address emission regulations and customer demands.—Arun Chandranath
While the inclusion of particulate number regulation within emission norms will accelerate the adoption of GPFs, government incentives will be vital to help OEMs tackle the rising costs of GPF installations, Frost & Sullivan suggests. Frost & Sullivan estimates the cost of a GPF to be between $135–$170.
Government incentives and a global approach to implementing GPFs will further cut costs and push almost all OEMs in North America and Europe to include GPFs within their portfolios by 2020, according to Frost & Sullivan.