Opel AG outlines its ‘transparent’ engineering initiative

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Opel has outlined details of its engineering initiative for more transparency, credibility and efficiency. As of summer 2016, the company will take the voluntarily next step to improve transparency and meet future emission protocols.

Starting with the new Opel Astra (above) from June 2016 onward, and in addition to the official fuel consumption and CO₂ information, Opel will publish fuel consumption numbers, reflecting different driving behavior recorded under the WLTP test cycle. In addition, Opel will implement an initiative to improve NOx emissions on SCR (selective catalytic reduction) diesel applications in new vehicles from August onward. This is a voluntary and early intermediate step toward the so-called RDE (Real Driving Emissions) legislation that goes into effect in September 2017. Opel is offering to provide the regulatory authorities with the engine calibration strategies, which should serve as the basis for a proactive dialogue.

“We at Opel strongly believe that the industry has to regain trust by increasing the transparency with customers and authorities. Opel takes this step toward RDE to show it can be done”, said Opel Group CEO Dr Karl-Thomas Neumann. “We announced in December in which direction we are going; now we are delivering the details. I ask the European Union as well as the EU member states and other European countries to accelerate alignment on test set-ups and test interpretations on real-driving-measurements to stop the existing uncertainty caused by test results that are hardly comparable.”

According to EU plans, the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) will be replaced starting in 2017 with the more modern standard Worldwide Harmonized Light Duty Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP). The WLTP is important to maintain standardized, reproducible and comparable results.

As Opel also indicated in December, it is also taking action related to NOx emissions to improve Euro 6 diesel SCR engines in the direction of future RDE. RDE is the real driving emissions standard which supplements current test methods and measures a car’s emissions directly on the road.

Dr Neumann emphasized, “I strongly believe that diesel technology will only continue to play a major role in Europe if the industry sticks to the path of continuous improvement. That is one of the reasons why we decided to implement SCR-Technology to the entire diesel fleet starting as of 2018. With this we do not only talk about a strategy of regaining trust, we also talk about a strategy to preserve the advantage of Europe’s automotive industry in diesel technology.”

The start of the implementation for this Euro 6 SCR improvement in new vehicles is currently scheduled for August 2016. In addition, this activity also includes a voluntary customer satisfaction field action that will involve 57,000 Euro 6 SCR vehicles that are already on the road in Europe (Zafira Tourer, Insignia and Cascada). This activity will start in June 2016.

April 1, 2016

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Dean has been with UKi Media & Events for over a decade, having previously cut his journalistic teeth writing and editing for various automotive and engineering titles. He combines extensive knowledge of all things automotive with a passion for driving, and experience testing countless new vehicles, engines and technologies around the world. As well as his role as editor-in-chief across a range of UKi's media titles, he is also co-chair of the judging panel of the International Engine of the Year Awards.

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