Sinotruk lines up greener, higher-priced engines

PUBLISHED : Monday, 01 September, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 01 September, 2008, 12:00am

Sinotruk (Hong Kong), the mainland's third-largest heavy truck maker, will start developing engines that meet tighter emission standards by the end of the year to capitalise on the higher selling prices for more environmentally friendly products.

'We plan to finish the research and development work for the parts meeting National IV emission standards in two years' time,' said chairman Ma Chunji.

The company plans to invest 100 million yuan (HK$114.4 million) after spending 280 million yuan to develop engines to meet National III emission standards.

'As parts for the two standards share some similarities, we don't need to pour a huge amount of money into development,' said Mr Ma.

Shandong-based Sinotruk started to develop National III-compliant engines in 2005, launching them in the market early this year.

According to the company's figures, the price for a heavy truck with 'green' technology can be 60 per cent higher than a 20-tonne National II-compliant heavy truck, which is priced between 220,000 and 230,000 yuan.

A Standard & Poor's report said mainland-made heavy trucks cost about one-third to one-fifth the price of trucks from international makers, partly because of their lower horsepower engines.

'The engine is the heart of a vehicle. Advanced technology in the motor and transmission box makes the vehicle more valuable,' Mr Ma said.

Mainland emission standards are equivalent to those of the European Union. European emission standards were established in 1992, setting benchmarks for emissions of nitrogen oxide, hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide.

Beijing requires all vehicles to meet National III standards this year. Implementation was delayed by a year because of an inadequate supply of engines and a suitable grade of petrol.

'We don't know whether the delay to National III will lead to a postponement of National IV standards, but we'll certainly start research and development work,' Mr Ma said.

The central government plans to implement National IV by 2010, when Europe will enforce Euro V.