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Common-rail Diesels Face Barriers in China

2008-08-08    Source:english.chinabuses.com

The spread of modern diesel engines using common-rail technology faces barriers in China. They cost more than standard diesels. China's impure diesel fuel can damage common rail parts. And the government's schedule for tightening emissions rules is unclear.


High costs are a major barrier.


The price of an engine equipped with a common rail system from Robert Bosch GmbH will be more than 20,000 yuan ($2,588) higher than an engine with a standard pump, says Mo Rongbo, director of the technical center of Dongfeng Liuzhou Motor Co. Dongfeng Liuzhou is a unit of Dongfeng Automobile Corp.


Most customers won't pay the higher price unless they have to install the system in order to meet government regulations.


But the timing of those regulations is uncertain.


The government says heavy-duty vehicles sold in China should meet so-called Euro 3 emissions standards starting Jan. 1, 2008. Light-duty diesels must meet the standard from July 1, 2008.


However, there are some doubts as to whether the government will enforce the regulations according to the official schedule.


Industry experts say there is a dispute between the National Development and Reform Commission and the State Environmental Protection Administration of China. The former wants to postpone the regulations, while the latter wants to stick to the schedule. The latter says enforcement can't wait due to China's serious pollution problems.


"The implementation of the standard won't be postponed," an official of the State Environmental Protection Administration told reporters.


China's emissions rules are based on Europe's. Under the Euro 3 standard, engines must produce no more than 50 milligrams of particulate matter per kilometer. In 2005, Europe adopted the stricter Euro 4 standard, which requires no more than 25 milligrams per kilometer.


China's poor quality diesel fuel also may slow the growth of common rail diesels. Impurities in the fuel can damage the high-precision parts in the system.


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