Some experts are readily talked for the mass introduction of electricity. Others see in perspective such introduction of a colossal ecological catastrophe. Third generally believe that the negative effect of CO2 emissions is greatly exaggerated to achieve certain political goals. In fact, the reality is that mobility requirements are too wide and therefore various transmission technologies are necessary. Only on the condition of their balanced application, humanity will receive environmentally friendly and efficient transport in all respects.
Wide view of things
One thing is clear: there is a significant proportion of greenhouse gas emissions due to the use of fossil fuels. But this does not mean that we must be limited only by electric vehicles, rush to them at any cost. Although, unfortunately, there is currently very premature discussion on the technologies of the transmission of the future. Discussion for one reason or another is not taking into account different points of view.
Today, European rules with their stringent requirements for climate protection for road traffic are too limited. This is due to the fact that the adopted CO2 emission standards are based on exhaust tests, which take into account only emissions directly from the car. Emissions arising from the production, refueling or disposal of the vehicle, its nodes and components in principle are not taken into account.
However, the climatic tasks should be solved throughout the spectrum of negative impact using all efficient technologies and all available funds. Therefore, it is necessary to move away from this unilateral accent on the exhaust gases and go to the approach that is open to all technologies and takes into account all CO2 emissions during the car’s life cycle.
Moreover, the changes in the transmission technologies were objective and were due not only to political goals, a dialogue is needed based on technologies. His leading world manufacturers of the automotive industry are called. In particular, Mahle’s experts with great skepticism and concern relate to the thoughts on the further tightening of the rules in current circumstances and at the same time on the representation of one technological approach as a single solution.
That is, there are two reasons. First, the current paradigm displaces certain technologies from the market, without taking into account the possibilities that they have already helped effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions. According to experts, this will not bring positive results.
Secondly, the revision of CO2 emission targets for 2030 in just a year after their adoption will contradict the principle of confidence in planning in which the company needs and consumers. This will cause instability on the market and will create an additional burden, in particular, on medium and minor companies for which the transformation of the industry has already become a huge problem, and can become even more serious due to the consequences of the crisis with coronavirus.
Therefore, you need a more realistic and responsible approach from politicians and, therefore, a lot of support in solving challenges facing automotive engineers.
New Life of DVS
Mahle is confident that the key to stable mobility lies not in the refusal of the internal combustion engine as such, but in the refusal of fossil fuels. Unfortunately, these two ideas are too rare in political and public debate. In the end, cold combustion — as it occurs in fuel cells — or ordinary combustion based on climatically neutral energy carriers can compensate for the current lack of battery performance.
For example, the use of synthetic fuel can immediately give great savings potential in the existing car park. This can be a decisive step towards achieving CO2 targets established at the EU level. That is, internal combustion engines are still too early to write off. Working on renewable fuel sources, they can and should be part of the actuator system, if society wants to achieve ambitious climatic purposes.
How will the internal combustion engine look like? The answer is clean, reasonably electrified and ready to use alternative fuels. The MAHLE modular hybrid transmission showed that the internal combustion engine has a huge potential and can have a low emission. This became possible with such products as heat-resistant valves that allow high exhaust temperatures and, therefore, the rapid heating of the sweeping systems of exhaust gases. Special pistons and rings provide low oil consumption and low solid particle emissions. In transitional modes or in dynamic road situations, the internal combustion engine is supported by an electric motor.
Existing technologies can immediately improve the existing fleet by adding synthetic fuel, or ensure the movement without soot and with neutral CO2 emissions using hydrogen and CO2 as fuel, taken from the atmosphere. This means that we can burn the fuel clean and thus making more to protect the climate in some applications than it is possible at present with a battery electric car.
As experts say, intellectual electrification will be characterized for internal combustion engines. This means that it will be maintained at least one electric motor combining the best technological solutions. The constant output power of the vehicle can be achieved using an internal combustion engine in several highly efficient operating modes. Stroke and fast refueling is not a problem. When additional power is required in dynamic driving conditions, an electric motor is turned on to the process, reducing the load on the engine. At the same time, the more powerful electric motor / whether the mounted engine can be easier to be easier.
Well, and besides, we can ride and in general with zero emissions — only on the electrician.
If we consider the global park of passenger cars, by 2030, within the framework of the so-called «green planet scenario», this park, according to MAHLE experts, will consist of 175 million electric vehicles with batteries and 960 million cars with internal combustion engines. The driving forces of such a scenario may be, for example, the tightening of CO2 emission legislation, which is currently being discussed. Using renewable electricity for all battery electric vehicles, 425 million tons of CO2 emissions can be reduced. The same amount of emission can be further reduced if the car fleeting fleet will be operated with a 20 percent additive of synthetic fuel produced using renewable energy sources.
In the end, society should not deceive himself: from an international point of view, an internal combustion engine will still have a leading role. According to the current MAHLE forecasts, the global share of full-hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars in the passenger car sector will grow from about 3% today to approximately 20% by 2030. For rechargeable electric cars, an increase is expected from almost 1% at present to about 16%.
If the European market is analyzed apart, then the share of electrified passenger cars will be somewhere 50%, of which half will work from the battery, and the rest — from the hybrid drive. The tightening of CO2 emission legislation will affect commercial vehicles, 34% of which are likely to be electrical or hybrid.
But in any case, as you see, we are not talking about the complete electrification of vehicles. All the same, the bulk of the operated technique will be cars of hybrid structures: DVS + electric drive in one form or another.
Of course, the drive of the future will consist not only from an electrified internal combustion engine. Undoubtedly, the most environmentally friendly mobility type will be determined for each individual application. For example, while an internal combustion engine or fuel cell is the most environmentally friendly option for heavy transportation for long distances, hybrids — provided that they are properly used — well coped with medium loads and distances, and battery electric cars are particularly suitable for local movement with small Loads.
For the engineering community, this means a consistent expansion of its portfolio and know-how throughout the range of drives of drives and the use of innovations that guarantee alternative drives really decent positions in the market.
There will be no one transmission of the future. Market conditions, car classes and driving profiles are too diverse to become a reality. The professional community must do everything on it dependent: electrification, the development of fuel cells and the use of hydrogen and alternative fuels in the intelligent electrified internal combustion engine. This means that, on the one hand, it is necessary to optimize technologies for internal combustion engines, allowing you to use alternative fuels. On the other hand, move forward in its activities in the field of alternative types of drives, electric vehicles, etc. That is why, in particular Mahle, it is strongly working on a branded dual strategy and will continue to do this in the future.