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Mercedes-Benz investing ~€3B in new engine technology; new diesel family, particulate filters for gasoline engines

Mercedes-Benz is investing about €3 billion (US$3.4 billion) in engine technology to ensure further improvements in fuel consumption and emissions in gasoline and diesel engines in current as well as current vehicles, according to Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, Daimler Board of Management Member for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.

With the new E 220d, Mercedes-Benz introduced the completely newly developed four-cylinder diesel engine OM 654 (earlier post)—the first of a modular new diesel engine family that fulfills future RDE emissions requirements and that will be applied throughout the entire portfolios of Mercedes-Benz Cars and also at Mercedes-Benz Vans.

Exhaust aftertreatment systems. The diagram at the top shows the layout of the exhaust aftertreatment systems in the prior generation of diesel motors; the diagram at the bottom shows the aftertreatment system for the new 4-cylinder diesel.

With the new family, the interfaces between the drive unit and the vehicle have been standardized across the series. All components of the new aftertreatment system are now arranged on the engine itself, rather than elsewhere on the vehicle.

The close-coupling of the aftertreatment system to the engine results in low heat loss and more optimal working conditions. Click to enlarge.

The new diesels feature an integrated technology approach, which includes new stepped combustion chambers and further developed exhaust-gas recirculation. The new engine design also allows all components for exhaust-gas recirculation to be positioned directly on the engine, instead of under the car floor as hitherto. This significantly enhances the system’s overall effectiveness, largely independently of ambient temperatures and driving style.

The E 220 d now consumes as little as 3.9 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (60.3 mpg US) on the NEDC, although the engine is more powerful than its predecessor (143 kW/195 hp compared with 125 kW/170 hp). This corresponds with CO2 emissions of 102 grams per kilometer.

In addition to their good fuel consumption, the new family of diesel engines also features particularly low NOx emissions. That has now been confirmed by independent measurements by DEKRA, a German vehicle inspection company. The DEKRA experts carried out an extensive test program with a Mercedes-Benz E 220 d with the focus on Real Driving Emissions (RDE), the method prescribed in the EU as of September 2017 in addition to measuring emissions on the test bench.

The RDE dynamic test program covers various stretches of road that include urban streets, country roads and freeways. The measurements were carried out at various temperatures between about two and 16 degrees Celsius, and with various numbers of occupants and varying loads.

The E 220 d emitted less NOx than the limit of 80 mg/km on all applicable RDE routes. In some cases, the NOx emissions were at the very low level of between just 13 and 21 mg/km even at low ambient temperatures.

Several levels of power output are planned for the new family, as well as longitudinal and transverse installation in vehicles with front-, rear- and all-wheel drive. In this way, Mercedes-Benz will equip its entire range of diesel cars in Europe with this latest engine generation including SCR technology (selective catalytic reduction) by 2019 at the latest.

We decided five years ago to invest massively in the further development of diesel technology. But we are also continuously making our gasoline engines more efficient and more environment-friendly; because high-tech combustion engines will remain the backbone of individual mobility until the widespread market success of electric vehicles.

—Thomas Weber

The Mercedes-Benz engineers made use of the newly gained knowledge from the development of the new family of diesel engines also to improve the emissions of current vehicle models.

That includes optimizations with regard to turbocharging and the further development of fuel injection and intercooling, as well as the application of new materials such as chromized timing chains. The combination of these measures results in improved robustness of the parts and components that are subjected to particular stress by combustion and exhaust-gas recirculation.

The operating range of exhaust-gas recirculation has been extended towards significantly lower temperatures. Another factor is the increased efficiency of the SCR systems. This has been achieved by modifying the design of the exhaust system and by applying new catalyst materials. This entire package of measures is now being successively applied in series production.

With the entry-level engines of the compact cars (A- and B-Class and the CLA and GLA) and with the V-Class, Mercedes-Benz is offering the recent improvements as a software update on cars already in customers’ hands in the context of a voluntary service action to be implemented in the coming months, starting with the V-Class in June.

Gasoline engines with particulate filters in the future. Gasoline direct injection (GDI) is a strategy to improve fuel efficiency. 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.

Mercedes-Benz plans the large-scale use of particulate filters for gasoline engines—the first manufacturer to do so. After more than two years of positive field tests with the Mercedes-Benz S 500, additional versions of the S-Class with gasoline engines are to be equipped with this new technology with the next model upgrade. That will be followed by gradual implementation in further new models, model upgrades and new engine generations. After that, particulate filters will also be applied in the current model ranges.



Just go electric and stop this crap. They are investing in 1950's technology when 2025 is staring them in the face.

Account Deleted

That is 3 billion USD wasted on a tech that will be worthless when the fully driverless BEV taxi services are a reality in a few more years. Tesla will not even spend 3 billion USD for combined R&D for model S, X and 3. They spent more than that for their production equipment but not on their R&D.

The old auto-industry will not change strategy until a newcomer like Tesla starts to take serious market share away from the old industry. Hopefully that will happen with model 3.

Roger Pham

Just go Hydrogen-FC and be well on the way to Zero-Emission Vehicle technology that can fill-up in 3 minutes to drive 300 miles, without change in consumers habit. All the grid-excess Solar and Wind electricity can be used to produce high-value H2 as transportation fuel to bring back predictable revenue for Solar and Wind investors. This will dramatically speed up investment in Solar and Wind energy, and we will be able to get off fossil fuels that much sooner.

It takes about 500 H2 filling stations with just $1 Billion of investment for FCEV's to be able to drive from one metroplex to another, coast to coast, in continental USA. If this cost is shared among Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Daimler-Benz, GM, BMW, VW, etc...then only $150 Millions per auto maker. This $150 Millions is pale in comparison to the $3 Billion that Daimler-Benz plans to spend on outdated engine tech.


They may want to own the whole distribution network rather than sharing with Toyota, etc. After all, they will need some revenue stream when auto sales drop by two-thirds.


There is no doubt that the car companies have prototype BEVs ready to design for mass production. In the meantime the world is still buying gassers so they must keep selling them. However, a major investment like this?...I don't know!


Improved ICEVs (45 mpg), improved HEVs (65 mpg) and improved PHEVs (100+ empg) will be around for another 20 to 30 years.

Phasing out those three technologies, in favor of a mix of extended range BEVs and FCEVs, will be very progressive.

Improved (3X to 5X) lower cost batteries and much Lower cost H2 and distribution networks are required.


Stop spreading fud , this is nice money well invested as diesel apply to all transportation including trucks, cars, ships and your battery fantasy and hydrogen dream never captured any meaning part of the SWMALL car market even with huge public money, all was stolen by the scientific mob.


@Roger Pham

We (in the United States) do not have grid excess renewable energy. Last year about, we got about 13.5% of our electric energy from "renewables" which was mostly hydro electric. Only about 4% was wind and less than 0.6% solar. It is far better to replace some electric power that would be generated by burning coal than trying to make hydrogen by electrolysis. I do not know why you persist with the excess renewable energy to hydrogen fantasy.

Internal combustion engines will be with us for quite a while -- especially diesel engines for high continuous load applications such as trucks, tractors, construction equipment, etc.

Roger Pham


When shooting at a rapidly moving object, you must not aim at the object, but aim ahead of the moving object.
Solar and Wind (S&W) electricity is growing very rapidly.
If we don't aim at utilizing future excess S&W electricity, the grow of S&W will stall because grid excess S&W electricity will not make money for S&W investors, and future investment into S&W will stall.

The link below will show you that California is having periods of excess of solar energy right now, even when solar penetration into the grid is still very low.
Texas is having the same problem with excess wind electricity.
What will happen when we will have 50%-80% penetration of grid electricity with S&W electricity?
Denmark and Germany are investing into power-to-gas to store grid-excess wind electricity, due to periods of excess of wind electricity that must be curtailed.



Here's another way to look at it.
Mercedes are bringing out new generations of of diesel and gasoline engines that will be more efficient and cleaner than the previous generations.

This is possible because Mercedes are premium cars and the customers pay more for them, thus they have the margin to afford the extra money it takes to develop and deploy proper aftertreatment for diesel and GDI petrol engines.
It will also benefit many commercial trucks using Mercedes engines.
I don't think that is too bad.


As REs mix initial cost keep falling below $0.05/kWh and conventional energy sources such as new Nuclear ($0.22+), Coal and NG keep on raising:

More e-energy production will move to REs creating more frequent and longer clean energy excess periods.

One way to absorb some of the excess/surplus REs will be with BEV/PHEV charging facilities and H2 stations.

This will certainly lead to progressively more electrified vehicles and less ICEVs? However, ICEVs (excluding trucks and buses) have time to evolve from 25 mpg to 50 mpg. Less total weight and smaller lighter more efficient ICE will be sued.


@sd, that could change reasonably quickly.

Renewables alone powered 90% of German electricity for several hours on a recent Sunday this year, and the entire nation of Portugal was also powered completely by renewables for 4 days in a row this year (i.e. not dipping below 100% of demand).

The economics of utility scale solar, now at <3 cents per kWh without any subsidies, must surely push even the US to a tipping point some time soon.


Gas and Diesel will, not doubt be around for some time. However, change is coming fast.
70 times as much renewable came online in 1st quarter as natural gas. No coal, no nuclear.


@Clett, there is nothing too great about getting 90% of your electricity when the sun shines and the wind blows, the question is where do you get it when the sun does not shine and the air is still. Take any still night/evening as an example.
You'll still have to keep a dispatchable source of power, typically thermal or hydro.
So what to do with the excess power on your sunny Sunday afternoons (sounds like a Kinks song).
Ideally, you would store it all in batteries or hydro storage, but this would be too expensive and there just aren't enough battery factories to make them all.
IMO, you are better storing it in batteries (ideally batteries in EVs) than h2, unless, you use the H2 straight away for some chemical process, like cracking heavy oil.
Making H2 is bad enough, but storing it and transporting it is even worse.


Agreed, the true test of the Energiewende will be storage. In my view, batteries will play only a small role, smoothing supply over several hours. Other solutions will be required for the week-to-week and inter-seasonal storage requirements.

I think this longer-term storage will be split mainly between power-to-gas and large-scale thermal, making use of the existing natural and coal plant infrastructure. In essence, the coal and gas powerplants of old will be repurposed from polluters to dispatchable nation-scale "batteries". That will help the incumbents swallow the bitter pill of otherwise having to retire early huge capital investments. The inherently low round-trip efficiency of these solutions won't matter when only one in three delivered kWh comes from storage, and they can buy their input electricity for effectively zero cost during the gluts in offshore wind and solar production (which will soon be enormous and already have a spot price below zero).


Agreed, storage will be the key test of the Energiewende. In my view, batteries will play only a small part in this, buffering supply for perhaps several hours or so once the EV fleet is up and running. The requirement to buffer week-to-week and interseasonal supply will depend on alternative solutions.

I think the requirement for longer term storage will most likely be met largely by power-to-gas and large-scale thermal storage. Crucially, both will make use of the existing powerplant infrastructure - natural gas plants will be run on e-gas and coal plants will be replumbed to serve as thermal stores, and occasionally burn biomass. I think this will be crucial to win the acceptance of the incumbent generators, who would otherwise be forced to retire large capital investments early. The inherent round-trip inefficiency of these processes won't matter too much when only one in three kWh supplied comes from storage. The costs should also be manageable since the gluts of power from solar and offshore wind, which are soon to be frequent and enormous, already have a spot price of less than zero. There's some more discussion of this in chapter 10 of "Science for the worried: An optimist's guide to the future" for anyone interested in this topic.


Sorry! The first post disappeared but has since returned.


HarveyD, clett, et al

I do not know where you got your data from. Cherry picking highly select sources? Look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cost_of_electricity_by_source

Natural gas combined cycle is consistently the lowest cost while photo-voltaic is consistently the highest and wind and new nuclear are projected to be about equal with on-shore wind a little lower and off-shore considerably higher. But this does not take into account that you need backup power for either wind or solar.

But my real comment was to replace burning coal with what renewable power we do have and not use use it for the hydrogen fantasy.

Also, when you quote some of the European data on renewable power consider that some of this comes from burning peat which in my opinion is worse than burning coal and some comes from wood pellets imported from the US.


Solar USED to be the most expensive. Remember that solar PV costs are still falling rapidly with no sign of slowing down. Last year it was at 5 cents. Now it's sitting at just 2.99 cents per kWh, unsubsidised, in the right locations.


Meanwhile, the true externalities for natural gas and coal have yet to be appropriately costed.



The data is for Dubai which certainly has sunny skies and who knows what the cost of land and labor was along with the cost of finance. The lowest cost in the US was about twice that.

Thomas Pedersen


The graph shows 3.7 c/kWh subsidized for Palo Alto and the same number unsubsidized for (old) Mexico. Are there any reasons to believe that installation costs in Mexico are significantly lower than in the US (presumably also mostly Mexican workers...).

Obviously, financing and labor mean a lot. But the right amount of pre-fab of the racks and cheaper PV panels continues to drive down hardware cost.


One way for USA to lower local solar power plants (below $0.03/kWh?) would be to:

1) import very large quantity of high performance lower cost PV panels from Asia (mainly from China)

2) use much lower cost Mexican installation labor (before the wall is built) much the same way as many other infrastructures are currently built in USA.

3) borrow $$$B, at very low rates from the GREEN FUNDS and/or from the Federal Bank.

4) develop lower cost ways to store excess REs, to the level required for 24/7 service and/or find ways to match consumption with production with BEVs quick charge facilities nd/or H2 stations.



Austin got a bid for 600MW for under $.04/kWh last year for utility solar. It's moving fast.


The maths supports even lower prices soon. Modules are now selling for 50 cents per watt, which means 1 kW of modules costs about $35 per year, amortised over 25 years at 5% interest.

That means the "module cost" of delivered electricity is just 1.6 cents per kWh in a sunny location like Dubai (6 kWh per kW per day incident). The Germans have shown us that the other costs (labour, connections, inverters etc) can amount to much less than the module cost.

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