Ford Motor has joined Volkswagen Group and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen in switching to a technology said to be more effective in cleaning harmful emissions from diesel engines.
Ford said its new 2.0-liter EcoBlue diesel will use selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology to reduce NOx emissions.
VW Group said in October that it will switch to SCR technology in its diesels in Europe and the U.S. "as soon as possible." VW has admitted to using "defeat" devices in up to 11 million diesel engines equipped with NOx traps (LNT) technology.
PSA began introducing SCR in its diesel engines at the end of 2013 with the aim of installing the technology in its entire diesel lineup.
Analysts Frost and Sullivan predict penetration of SCR technology in diesel vehicles across Europe will increase to 34 percent in 2021 from 8 percent in 2014.
SCR is regarded as more effective at reducing toxic NOx emissions than LNT, but it is also more costly and difficult to package inside a car. Frost and Sullivan said SCR after-treatment systems can reduce NOX emissions by 90 percent.
SCR uses a urea tank to reduce NOx emissions but the tanks needs periodic refilling so most automakers previously favored maintenance-free LNT systems.
Ford currently uses lean NOx traps (LNT) to reduce toxic output from its diesels.
It said the new EcoBlue 2.0-liter engine will replace its current 2.0-liter TDCI diesel unit in its car range but did not specify in which models. The automaker also plans to introduce a 1.5-liter EcoBlue diesel cars starting next year that can be configured to use both LNT and SCR.
The 2.0-liter EcoBlue also reduces CO2 emissions by up to 13 percent thanks to reduced friction losses, Ford said. It’s also quieter and in passenger car applications can deliver more than 200hp.