Updated for April 2017 with new analysis, discussion of events and developments in the past quarter, and revised outlook to assess their likely impact.
The quarterly research update adds analysis, discussion of events and developments in the past quarter, and a revised outlook to assess their likely impact. Topics covered include the current state of review of the US 2022 - 2025 CAFÉ standards, impact on EV sales of conservative US politics, as well as a summary and full results of the 2017 Future of Powertrain Survey.
Non-linear improvements in computer power have caused profound disruption in many industries. In automotive, a lot of attention has been focused on smart cars and connectivity.
But a huge disruption is already happening in powertrain development, driven by the electronic control units (ECUs) in light duty vehicles, as they improve and engineers learn how to use them.
The 21st century powertrain is an integrated and jointly developed combination of IC engines, batteries, transmissions (sometimes), generator/motors and complex control systems. While these hybrids started out as a specialist choice, most automakers agreed that electrification of most powertrains will occur to some degree by 2025.
So, electrification will become the new normal. The question is how much electrification.
21st Century Powertrain: electrification, fuel and future examines the impact of these developments on the five major elements of the future powertrain:
- Internal combustion engines
- Control Systems
- Electric Motors
The report looks at technical trends and developments in each of these areas, and projects how those trends might develop by 2025 to 2030. It establishes the consensus view about developments, and then challenges it with Key Uncertainties, Trends and Potential Disruptors.
Each chapter summarizes these for each of the technology areas, and then pulls them together into plausible, alternate scenarios to the central outlook to help planners bookend the best and worst cases.
What is unique about this report?
Building on a series of in-depth studies of different powertrain technologies, as well as surveys of experts, this report aims to offer a wider perspective on a cluster of the key issues around the consensus that has built up on the path of powertrain development in the automotive industry in the next decade.
The report is also more than a one-off download - includes strategic analysis of 12 key companies in the sector and quarterly updates of development in powertrain electrification completed, analysed and written by the report author.
Key strategic questions addressed
The report addresses four key strategic questions, the answers to which will determine the near term future of automotive powertrains:
- What is the probability that the emissions and fuel economy regulations projected for 2021 through 2025 will remain as currently envisioned? If they change, in what direction? - How important is fuel price among the pressures put on automakers, compared with other issues? What is the likelihood that fuel prices will remain at the relatively low levels of 2016? - How will battery prices develop? How close is $100/kWh? - What is the likelihood that a significant technical disruptor will be introduced in the next few years - significant enough and early enough to challenge the industry's consensus view for 2030? - What is the likelihood that the current trends in powertrain developments will achieve their goals if no technical disruptor emerges?