Last week, we wrote about Mercedes move to bring BlueTEC SUVs to the U.S. Today, Benz announced that these large diesels have been approved for licensing in all 50 states. What this means is that no matter where you are in the U.S., you'll be able to buy one of these SUVs with AdBlue injection - the R 320 BlueTEC, the ML 320 BlueTEC and the GL 320 BlueTEC - when they're released this fall. While the mileage numbers of these diesels aren't astounding - 18 mpg in the city / 24 on the highway (17/23 for the GL) - the clean diesel is actually clean and meets America's strict Bin 5 and ULEV emission standards. It hasn't been easy for auto companies to sell new diesels in the U.S., as the E320 BlueTec story shows. More after the jump.


Press Release:

Further milestone for diesel initiative in the US: Mercedes-Benz is the first manufacturer to receive approval for licensing BlueTEC SUVs in all 50 US states

Stuttgart, Mar 19, 2008

Mercedes-Benz is continuing to build on its world-leading position in the field of clean diesel technology. The Stuttgart-based manufacturer has become the world's first car producer to receive a certificate for licensing BlueTEC SUVs in all 50 US states.

Mercedes-Benz will shortly be launching three BlueTEC SUVs – the ML 320 BlueTEC, the R 320 BlueTEC and the GL 320 BlueTEC – featuring the technology for the world's cleanest diesels. The vehicles, which will first be available in the US, comply with the extremely strict requirements of the American Bin 5 and ULEV emission standards, making Mercedes-Benz the first manufacturer to be able to license diesel SUVs in all 50 US states. Following the successful market launch of the "clean diesel pioneer" – E 320 BlueTEC – in October 2006, this new step – which coincides with the 150th anniversary of Rudolf Diesel's birth – is another extremely important milestone in the diesel initiative launched by Mercedes-Benz.

As a modular concept for reducing emissions from diesel vehicles in an efficient manner, the Mercedes-Benz-developed BlueTEC technology incorporates a raft of harmonised technical measures for the effective aftertreatment of exhaust gases. Components used in this process include an oxidising catalytic converter and a particulate filter. The primary objective, however, is to reduce nitrogen-oxide emissions drastically, since these are now the only exhaust-gas constituents that are more prevalent in diesel engines than they are in their petrol counterparts.

Mercedes-Benz has developed two versions for this. Both the E 320 BlueTEC Saloon available in the US and the E 300 BlueTEC variant for the European market are equipped with a combination of oxidising catalytic converter and particulate filter with an extremely long-lasting NOx storage catalytic converter and an additional SCR catalytic converter (SCR= Selective Catalytic Reduction). The second BlueTEC version is being used for the new GL 320 BlueTEC, ML 320 BlueTEC and R 320 BlueTEC models, in which AdBlue, a harmless aqueous urea solution, is injected into the exhaust-gas stream. This process releases ammonia, which converts up to 80 percent of the nitrogen oxides into harmless nitrogen and water by a process of reduction in the downstream SCR catalytic converter.

[Source: Daimler]

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