Our position on SCR hardware upgrades for Euro 5 diesels.

12. December 2018
ca. 3 minutes

The current debate in Germany over hardware upgrades for diesel vehicles is in the public eye in connection with the introduction or threat of vehicle bans. The BMW Group rejects the idea of SCR hardware upgrades and has stated this openly. The reasons for this are outlined below.

The BMW Group has been committed to sustainable mobility for many years and invests heavily in innovative and efficient drive trains. The company continues to lead the way in steadily reducing emissions from combustion engines and systematically expanding electromobility. Continued improvement in air quality is both an aspiration and an obligation for the BMW Group. Regardless of whether they are classified as Euro 6c or Euro 6d-TEMP, since summer 2018, all BMW diesel models in the European Union have been equipped with a combination of NOx storage catalytic convertor and SCR system. This sophisticated method of exhaust gas treatment generally results in very low NOx emissions throughout the entire operating range.

To improve air quality quickly, hardware upgrades are not an option for BMW Group vehicles – this remains unchanged:

  • A hardware upgrade would increase both weight and fuel consumption.
  • Progress in diesel technology cannot viably be transferred to vehicles developed years ago that fully comply with EU approval requirements by retrofitting a subsequent technical solution
  • A hardware upgrade would take much too long to improve air quality. Even with fast-track authorisation, upgraded systems would not be ready for use in series-production vehicles before the end of 2021
  • It is especially important that we realise fleet renewal quickly next year. Because – along with the ongoing software update – this is currently the only available measure that can achieve a broad impact

The additional integration of a SCR system requires the dismantling of the existing architecture to the installation of a new exhaust system. New wiring harnesses, new control units, an AdBlue tank with heater and the necessary lines and additional sensors are to be installed. 

Software updates, accelerated fleet renewal and all other measures will have a broader impact much sooner than any SCR hardware measure. The BMW Group is therefore implementing the following measures on a systematic basis:

  • Fleet renewal: The BMW Eco Bonus+ offers 6,000 euros towards a new BMW or MINI when customers eligible under the “cities concept” trade in their BMW or MINI diesel. This is in addition to the usual discounts. This measure will have a rapid, targeted impact in the most affected cities.
  • Voluntary software updates: Based on field experience with Euro 5 BMW and MINI diesels, the BMW Group began updating software in September 2018. The update reduces emissions by approx. 20% and is provided free of charge to customers.
  • “Sustainable Mobility” city fund: The BMW Group has contributed a total of one billion euros to the “Sustainable Mobility” fund financed by the federal government and industry. However, the money has yet to be claimed by all the cities and invested in options for improving air quality – from power plants to city buses.
  • Expansion of electromobility: Expansion of electromobility is a central element of the BMW Group corporate strategy for sustainable future mobility. Customers in the cities currently selected for special measures can receive up to 10,000 euros, incl. the government share of the Electro Bonus, if they trade in their older BMW or MINI diesel model for a BMW i3 or an eligible BMW Group plug-in hybrid, for example.



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