DaimlerChrysler unveiled its BLUETEC line of diesel-powered vehicles at a recent Washington, D.C. auto show. The three BLUETEC vehicles were designed utilizing Common Rail Diesel technology, which offers an improved fuel efficiency of 20 to 40 percent compared to gasoline-fueled cars.
The first BLUETEC passenger car will be the Mercedes-Benz E 320, which will be launched this fall in the United States. The BLUETEC technology includes an oxidizing catalytic converter and a particulate filter, as well as DeNOx (nitrogen oxide-reducing) systems. The overall aim is to make diesels as clean as gas engines, while retaining the 20 to 40 percent fuel consumption advantage.
DaimlerChrysler officials claim vehicles using BLUETEC technology beat hybrid cars in terms of fuel efficiency under real-life driving conditions that include long distances and towing capability. In addition to its work on diesel-power cars, the automaker is also developing fuel cell technology. The company presently has 100 fuel cell vehicles operating on the streets around the world gaining real-world experience.