On the eve of the Los Angeles Motor Show DaimlerChrysler, Audi and Volkswagen have announced that they intend to establish the Bluetec brand name as the designation for what they describe as 'particularly clean, highly fuel-efficient passenger cars and SUVs with diesel engines'.

The Bluetec brand is being developed specifically for the US marketplace. BMW opted to stay out of the alliance and is said to be developing a separate US diesel initiative.

Under the shared concept of Bluetec, each of the manufacturers involved will be working on their own technical systems for meeting the world's most stringent emission regulations.
 
The latest J.D. Power study, "Global Outlook For Diesel", predicts that the share of diesels among first-time registrations in North America will rise to over 15% by 2015.

The name Bluetec refers to diesel engines with exhaust emission treatment systems which meet even the strictest emission regulations on the US market.

The systems employed by Bluetec serve in particular to reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) the only constituent part of the exhaust gases which, due to the design of the diesel, inherently lies above the value for petrol engines.

In this way it will in future also be possible to meet the strict limits imposed by the State of California.

Depending on the vehicle class concerned, various NOx treatment systems can be used. In one version, for instance, an oxidising catalytic converter and a particulate filter are combined with a further improved, particularly long-life NOx storage converter.

Another way of cutting NOx emissions is with the use of 'AdBlue', a water-based additive, which is injected into the exhaust gas. This causes ammonia to be released, which in turn reduces the nitrogen oxides to harmless nitrogen and water in a downstream SCR catalytic converter.

Bluetec is a brand of DaimlerChrysler which is already being used by the comoany's Mercedes-Benz cars and commercial vehicles. In future the brand will be extended to clean diesel engines from Audi, Volkswagen and Jeep in the United States.

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