Radical plan to turn off anti-pollution technology on trucks amid looming AdBlue shortage

the The federal government is considering a drastic “last resort” measure if Australia’s AdBlue supply does not improve.


The federal government is considering allowing the deactivation of emission reduction technology in certain diesel trucks – if AdBlue supply in Australia is not assured in the following weeks.

However, insiders involved in the talks said To drive stopping emission reduction technology is a “last resort” and only one of many options being considered.

The proposal has been heavily criticized by health and environmental experts, as well as some groups in the trucking industry.



Legally mandated software currently prevents many diesel-powered trucks and passenger cars from starting or running at full power without the urea-based chemical solution detected in an on-board tank.

To drive was told that the federal government is considering the possibility of temporarily disable the software in certain trucks – considered “critical” for the economy – if the AdBlue supply does not improve by now February 2022.

While the current shortage is not yet critical, the trucking industry estimates AdBlue supplies could run out in two months.

Around 400,000 trucks on the country’s roads use around 150 million liters of AdBlue each year.

Critics of the sweeping proposal say turning off emission-reduction technology could damage engines, void vehicle warranties and negatively impact human health and the environment.

the AdBlue additive is believed to reduce harmful emissions of nitrogen oxides about 90 percent, hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions between 50 and 90 percent and particulate emissions between 30 and 50 percent.



“Discussions with the government on changing the laws are ongoing, but if the supply does not improve, we will have to consider deactivating existing software and making other changes to emissions control systems to maintain important trucking routes, ”said a transportation industry insider. To drive.

A declaration issued to To drive on behalf of Angus Taylor – the Federal Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction – who has been charged with addressing the current crisis, said: “[We are] by exploring a range of potential solutions, including alternative international sourcing options for refined urea, building local manufacturing capacity and technical options at the vehicle level. “

The Truck Industry Council – which represents a number of truck manufacturers, importers and component suppliers – issued a statement following last week’s government roundtable that condemned the option.

A statement from the Truck Industry Council said in part: “These vehicle emissions regulations are in place to protect the health of all Australians.

“Untreated tailpipe emissions can cause respiratory problems, including asthma, headaches, eye irritation, loss of appetite, corroded teeth, chronically reduced lung function and cancer.

“The falsification of such a system should be condemned by all within the industry… It is a shame that we have to be at this point for the government to realize the importance of DEF and AdBlue on the chain supply and the need for its regulation. “



Until last month, China supplied around 80 percent of urea (the active ingredient in AdBlue) sold in Australia.

However, this was largely redirected to the agricultural sector for the production of synthetic fertilizers.

As previously stated by To drive, there is currently some capacity to increase local manufacturing through Brisbane-based Incitec Pivot and several small domestic chemical producers.

However, despite government intervention, experts suggest these attempts are unlikely to fully offset domestic demand, which exceeds three million liters per week.

Large logistics companies in Australia said To drive the situation is “not yet dire”, but “very serious” and, in the worst case, could force thousands of trucks into storage until supply improves or legislation is changed .

Passenger cars are less likely to be affected by short-term supply chain failures, as they use significantly less AdBlue per kilometer driven and some manufacturers – including BMW – have already secured inventory for customers.



You can read Discs complete list of passenger vehicles requiring AdBlue by clicking here.

William Davis

William Davis has been writing for Drive since July 2020, covering news and current affairs in the automotive industry. He mainly focused on industry trends, autonomous technology, electric vehicle regulation and local environmental policy. As the latest addition to the Drive team, William was recruited for his attention to detail, writing skills and strong work ethic. Although he has written for various media including the Australian Financial Review, Robb Report and Property Observer, since graduating in media from Macquarie University, William has always had a passion for cars.

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