Driving clean engine technology in South Africa


THE launch of Quester and Croner Euro 5 truck technologies in a country that still operates on a Euro 2 fuel standard is a bold move by UD Trucks. This original equipment manufacturer (OEM) wants to ensure it is able to start adopting the technology as soon as possible to position itself as a leader in the field as South Africa gradually transitions to a “green” economy.

“Adoption of the technology will start with large fleet operators who have already shown a strong interest in the technology as they want to be key drivers of sustainable transport. That’s beyond the role that technology will play in helping them reduce fuel consumption and extend service intervals. Over time, we believe that smaller third-party logistics providers will also follow their lead,” says Jacques Michel, senior vice president of international sales at UD Trucks.

The fuel efficiency of these trucks, on its own, is a strong enough selling point. A die OEM customers spend around R1 billion a year on diesel and are very cautious about the future. The company has shown keen interest in Euro 5 truck technology as it promises 4-5% fuel savings. Add to that a marked reduction in total cost of ownership and downtime. This adds to the wealth of data that is generated by these vehicles to ensure that they operate optimally.

The trucks have been carefully selected for South Africa. They include a Croner 250 HP Cargo Carrier in the 16t Heavy Duty Vehicle (HCV) segment. This is UD Trucks South Africa’s largest market segment. This is closely followed by the 15.5t HCV segment which will be serviced by a 240hp Croner cargo carrier. These models are complemented by two other Croner models, one being a 4×2 tractor unit and the other with a 6×2 axle configuration freight carrier, for distribution and regional transport, a growing market for equipment manufacturers.

During this time, UD Trucks introduced Quester models to serve the high end long haul and regional markets. They include a cargo carrier and two road tractors for heavy duty applications. This is in addition to a 460 HP tractor unit configuration which will allow the company to increase its market share in the premium tractor unit market for long haul applications.

Admittedly, another important market for Euro 5 technology is that of local municipalities. They are increasingly exploring cleaner truck technologies for waste management services. Cape Town in particular is at the forefront of this movement, and Rory Schulz, Sales Manager of UD Trucks South Africa, also commends the Western Cape Department of Transport and Works for the stellar role that it plays in driving the adoption of clean truck technologies in the province.

Selective Catalytic Reduction (RCS) technology has been deployed to meet Euro 5 standards. Launched in 2004 as an industry first by Nissan Diesel/UD Trucks, afterburner technology involves forcing a chemical process into the exhaust system after the fuel has been burned diesel. This is achieved by adding a urea, known as AdBlue in the trade, in a specific ratio to the fuel.

One of the biggest benefits of this technology is that it allows the OEM to map and select an engine that provides the best possible fuel mileage for a specific application. Thanks to the high injection pressures, highly efficient fuel consumption is achieved without having to limit engine performance to comply with the latest international emissions regulations.

Meanwhile, the fully automatic transmission in Croner trucks has undergone minor upgrades to perform optimally with new Euro 5 engine technology.

The The Easy Safe Controlled Transmission (ESCOT) on Quester trucks has also been improved to ensure excellent fuel combustion in all local conditions.

Admittedly, with South Africa increasingly dependent on imported fuel, Filip Van den Heede, Managing Director of UD Trucks Southern Africa, believes the launch of the technology is timely. “The country currently imports around 60% of all its fuel and this is expected to increase with the closure of local refineries. Meanwhile, all countries on either side of our borders are importing fuel within the required 50ppm or 10ppm,” concludes Van den Heede.

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