Ed speak

Evo - - NEWS -

I SUS­PECT YOU’VE READ AT LEAST ONE HEADLINE pro­claim­ing that by 2040 the last new petrol- and diesel- en­gined cars will have been sold in Bri­tain, the motoring pub­lic forced into au­to­mo­biles pow­ered ex­clu­sively by elec­tric­ity. I imag­ine you then read a lit­tle deeper to ed­u­cate your­self on the mat­ter only to dis­cover that re­ally this isn’t go­ing to hap­pen at all.

This is the prob­lem when pol­i­tics and the mo­tor in­dus­try mix. The for­mer has ab­so­lutely no idea how the lat­ter works or, in­deed, what it is ca­pa­ble of. Not in some malev­o­lent way, you un­der­stand, although the idea of the engi­neers at Jaguar build­ing an XJ that va­por­ises un­wanted politi­cians once the ar­moured doors have sealed shut does have an ap­peal.

Rather, the mo­tor in­dus­try is a re­mark­able ma­chine that still sur­prises us cyn­ics today. Granted, Diesel­gate and al­le­ga­tions of price fix­ing car­tels aren’t do­ing the rep­u­ta­tions of some brands any good at the mo­ment. But away from the board­rooms the engi­neers on the front line are still pi­o­neer­ing tech­nol­ogy that makes the car as rel­e­vant today as it was dur­ing its early days of mo­bil­is­ing the planet, and will con­tinue to be be­yond 2040. And it will con­tinue to be pow­ered by some form of in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gine.

Why? Be­cause in 23 years’ time the IC en­gine will be ten times more ef­fi­cient than it is today. It will be cleaner, burn less fuel and be bet­ter in­te­grated with the lat­est elec­tric mo­tors and bat­ter­ies. It will be fit­ter for pur­pose. It will ap­peal to­mor­row as it does today. Today’s engi­neers will hand the ba­ton to to­mor­row’s pi­o­neers who will go on to de­velop per­for­mance cars and pow­er­trains that are rel­e­vant to the time and the needs of the evo reader of the day.

The in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gine is chang­ing, but that’s be­cause it has never stood still. It’s a shame that our po­lit­i­cal lead­ers have such a weak grasp of this and pre­fer to fight against the mo­tor in­dus­try rather than work with it.

‘In 23 years’ time the in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gine will be ten times more ef­fi­cient than it is today’

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