Eaton announced it has reached the first agreement to supply its new 48-volt programmable aftertreatment catalyst for electrically heated catalysts to a global commercial vehicle manufacturer. Rapidly warming up the diesel exhaust aftertreatment catalyst, and keeping it warm during low engine load operation, is essential for optimal performance to reduce harmful nitrogen oxide (NOx) exhaust emissions. The air-cooled electric catalyst heater controller is part of Eaton's broader 48-volt electrical system portfolio, which contains several technologies that allow manufacturers to integrate 48-volt architectures in next-generation vehicles.

Eaton's family of electric heater power electronics controllers are being developed for solutions between 2 kW and 15 kW of power and operate with up to 99% peak efficiency. The controller is designed to receive power commands from the aftertreatment system, provide soft-start and stop capabilities for assisting in maintaining system voltage control, and diagnostic feedback of the heater element. This technology comes at a time when vehicle manufacturers are facing tightening emissions standards around the globe.

In the U.S., the California Air Resources Board and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are introducing more stringent diesel regulations in 2024 and 2027. In Europe, the next stage of emissions standards is known as Euro VII for heavy-duty diesel trucks. Collectively, the new regulations are designed to reduce tailpipe NOx emissions by up to 90%, thus accelerating the need for global manufacturers to employ additional emission-reducing strategies such as electric catalyst heating.