World premiere: Mercedes-Benz Trucks presents latest engine generation

World premiere: Mercedes-Benz Trucks presents latest engine generation
July 2015
  • Fuel savings of up to 3% reduce operating costs and CO2 emissions
  • Cutting-edge, clean combustion engine set to remain unrivalled in the long term for heavy-duty trucks
  • "We are keen to shape the future of road transport," states Stefan Buchner, Head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks. "The Latest Generation of our successful OM 471 engine is proof of this. Its higher fuel efficiency of up to 3% benefits our customers and the environment."
Berlin - World premiere in the German capital Berlin: on Friday, as part of its "Shaping Future Transportation 2015 – Campus Efficiency" event, Mercedes-Benz presented its latest truck engine. The Latest Generation of the OM 471 heavy-duty truck engine is an engineering masterpiece. The engine offers fuel savings of up to 3% compared to its predecessor, reducing operating costs and lowering CO2 emissions at the same time, and ensuring that truck customers and the environment benefit equally from this latest unit to emerge from Mercedes-Benz Trucks Engine Development.
The OM 471 engine is part of the successful platform of heavy-duty truck engines of Daimler Trucks. The world's cleanest and cutting-edge engine platform has to comply with stringent emissions standards in Europe, North America and Japan, since the engines are used in heavy-duty Mercedes-Benz trucks as well as in Freightliner and Western Star trucks in North America and FUSO trucks in Asia. To date around 250,000 of these engines have been fitted worldwide, over 100,000 of these work in Mercedes-Benz trucks. Mercedes-Benz Trucks invested 60 million Euro for the enhancement of this platform.
Stefan Buchner, Head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks, comments: "We are keen to shape the future of road transport. The Latest Generation of our successful OM 471 engine is proof of this. Its higher fuel efficiency of up to 3% benefits our customers and the environment."
The enhanced efficiency is the result of several internal engine modifications. Improvements in fuel injection, higher compression, a new exhaust gas turbocharger and a reduced rate of exhaust gas recirculation help lower fuel consumption. In average service with mileage of around 130,000 km/year, a Mercedes-Benz Actros with the new engine will consume around 1100 fewer litres of fuel and emit around three tonnes less of CO2.
Efficiency is a central part of the Daimler Trucks and Mercedes-Benz Trucks strategy; along with safety and connectivity it defines the company's role as technology leader in the sector. Given that diesel makes up 30% of the total cost of ownership (TCO) of a truck, fuel efficiency is an essential criterion when customers decide which vehicle to purchase. Lower fuel consumption also means lower CO2 emissions. Improvements in efficiency therefore serve both economic and ecological objectives.
Mercedes-Benz trucks have always set new standards in efficiency
Since 1965 trucks' consumption per tonne kilometre has fallen by 60% -- while during the same period six new emissions standards have been implemented and the engines ever cleaner. The latest truck engines from Mercedes-Benz complying with the Euro VI emissions standard and are so clean that it is barely possible to measure particulate emissions. Mercedes-Benz has always been the pioneer and efficiency leader in this field. In the mid-1960s, for example, the OM 346 engine achieved fuel savings of up to 25% as a result of a switch to direct injection. The latest milestone came in 2011, when the new heavy-duty Mercedes-Benz Actros truck was fitted with the in-line six-cylinder OM 471 which complies with Euro VI. Its introduction ensured that Mercedes-Benz trucks were very early in complying with an emissions standard that was not due to come into force until 2014 and offered a reduction of up to 5% in fuel consumption.
Across Europe the date for the commercial release of the Latest Generation of the OM 471 is 6 July. From that date, it will be possible to order the engine for the Mercedes-Benz Actros. Delivery of the vehicles will commence in October. From August 2015, Setra TopClass coaches in Europe will be fitted with the new engine as standard, and it will be available to order for Setra ComfortClass coaches and the Mercedes-Benz Travego.
Integrated approach needed for higher transport efficiency
Optimum engine performance as delivered by the OM 471 is just one part of an integrated approach to boosting transport efficiency in the haulage sector. Other aspects, such as the aerodynamics of the semitrailer, alternative fuels, transport management and appropriate expansion of the transport infrastructure, must be part of this integrated approach in order to achieve further significant reductions in fuel consumption and, as a result, CO2 emissions.
Data from an international study by the independent Belgian institute for traffic research Transport & Mobility Leuven (TML), presented at the IAA 2014 by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association ACEA, show the potential this integrated approach could hold for the period 2014 to 2020: in-vehicle modifications made across the entire fleet, for example, could reduce CO2 emissions by 6%. A further 2.5% could be saved by using alternative fuels. More efficient transport processes would bring a further reduction of 13%. This would mean that, between 2014 and 2020, CO2 emissions produced by the haulage sector would fall by over 20%, in other words by 3.5% per year.
"Continuously optimising the combustion engine is important, but it is not enough, states Buchner. We must move from a strategy that centres solely around new vehicles to a fully integrated approach. This could more than double the annual reduction in CO2 in our sector. We can reduce the total cost of ownership and CO2 emissions in an efficient manner."

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    Shaping Future Transportation 2015, Campus Safety: Latest Generation Mercedes-Benz OM 471.