New pow­er­train tech­nolo­gies shift gears swiftly to be mar­ket-ready

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In the ad­vent of up­com­ing new emis­sion reg­u­la­tions, the en­gine man­u­fac­tur­ers, ve­hi­cle mak­ers and com­po­nent sup­pli­ers are look­ing at the op­por­tu­ni­ties the chang­ing pow­er­train land­scape is throw­ing up for them. To tap the fast evolv­ing mar­ket, the com­po­nent in­dus­try has to fur­ther im­prove its ca­pa­bil­i­ties by ac­quir­ing tech­nolo­gies to make these parts through joint ven­tures or tech­ni­cal part­ner­ships.

With the new op­tions like elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of mo­tors, tur­bocharged gaso­line en­gines could gain steam as smaller diesels like the 1000cc en­gine, could get eclipsed as the new BS-VI emis­sion regime would make it much harder to tweak the smaller crop of en­gines. More af­ford­able pow­er­train so­lu­tions like elec­tric and hy­brids will also of­fer more vi­able op­tions. To boost en­gine power, turbo pro­lif­er­a­tion and in­dus­try adop­tion will con­tinue to grow at a fast pace in In­dia reach­ing Rs 2,600-2,800 crore by FY20, ac­cord­ing to the rat­ings agency ICRA.

In 2020, when BS-VI en­gines will be­come ex­pen­sive with the cost of their af­ter treat­ment, the ac­qui­si­tion cost of a diesel ve­hi­cle will also rise com­men­su­rately. This high af­tertreat­ment cost for a diesel en­gine will drive the shift in per­cent­age terms to­wards gaso­line en­gines. The diesel per­cent­age will con­se­quently de­cline due to the price sen­si­tive na­ture of the mar­ket.

The OE man­u­fac­tur­ers are work­ing in close co-op­er­a­tion with the com­po­nent sup­pli­ers on lo­cal­i­sa­tion and in­no­va­tions right from the de­sign stage. For in­stance, some of the top car­mak­ers have 95-97% lo­cal­i­sa­tion in their top mod­els that helps rein in costs. With tech­nol­ogy con­tin­u­ously chang­ing, in­no­va­tions have to keep pace with them.

For In­dia, en­gines with high and low-end torque for ma­noeu­vring traf­fic snarls in cities are rel­e­vant. How­ever, higher en­gine power would be nec­es­sary for driv­ing down high­ways on week-ends, sim­i­lar to those pre­ferred in Europe and the US. In­dus­try ex­perts agree that there will be com­plex­i­ties in up­grad­ing the diesel en­gine to BS-VI. Strik­ing the right bal­ance be­tween tech­nol­ogy and cost will be a ma­jor chal­lenge. In­tro­duc­tion of tur­bocharged gaso­line di­rect in­jec­tion tech­nol­ogy would be­come main­stream in the com­pact SUV seg­ment, while diesels would con­tinue to dom­i­nate in the mid and high-end SUVs due to their fuel ef­fi­ciency. Three and four­cylin­der en­gines would be pop­u­lar in petrol and diesels for pas­sen­ger cars and SUVs, while the two-cylin­der en­gine would drive com­mer­cial ap­pli­ca­tions.

Look­ing at the cur­rent trend of SUV de­mand, more pow­er­ful en­gines will be looked at. While three and four-cylin­der cylin­der en­gines will be pop­u­lar for smaller cars, the hy­brid tech­nol­ogy would lever­age the mo­tor to draw on ad­di­tional power re­quire­ments. The diesel-dom­i­nated com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle and taxi seg­ments will con­tinue to be such in the near fu­ture also. How­ever self­driven smaller cars in ur­ban mar­kets may move to the more fuel ef­fi­cient gaso­line mo­tors.

De­spite the up­com­ing pol­icy on elec­tric ve­hi­cles, hy­brids will find rel­e­vance with pow­er­trains vary­ing from mild to strong, based on the ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­tur­ers and their ap­pli­ca­tions.

While down­sis­ing and fuel ef­fi­ciency will con­tinue to be the key fo­cus, the util­i­sa­tion of start-stop tech­nol­ogy will also rise. Of­fi­cials pre­dict that, in pas­sen­ger cars, the shift to gaso­line has al­ready started and it will stay in the 75:25 gaso­line:diesel ra­tio in the fu­ture.

With the in­creas­ing fo­cus on the en­vi­ron­ment, OEMs have been

bring­ing in hy­brid so­lu­tions and with the devel­op­ment of charg­ing in­fras­truc­ture and elec­tric pow­er­train, elec­tri­cally-driven ve­hi­cles will also grow. In ad­di­tion, the change in emis­sion norms will give a push to a cost-ef­fec­tive elec­tric boost­ing tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tion like e-charg­ers and e-tur­bos. These will scale up ef­fi­ciency and per­for­mance of the in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gine in a mild hy­brid ve­hi­cle.

In 2030, the share of elec­tri­fied ve­hi­cles could range from 10 to 30% of new-ve­hi­cle sales. Adop­tion rates will be high­est in de­vel­oped, dense cities with strict emis­sion reg­u­la­tions and con­sumer in­cen­tives (tax breaks, spe­cial park­ing and driv­ing priv­i­leges, dis­counted elec­tric­ity pric­ing, et cetera). Sales pen­e­tra­tion will be slower in small towns and ru­ral ar­eas with lower lev­els of charg­ing in­fras­truc­ture and higher de­pen­dency on driv­ing range.

Through con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ments in bat­tery tech­nol­ogy and cost, those lo­cal dif­fer­ences will be­come less pro­nounced, and elec­tri­fied ve­hi­cles are ex­pected to gain more and more mar­ket share from con­ven­tional ve­hi­cles. With bat­tery costs po­ten­tially de­creas­ing to $150 from $200 per kilo­watt hour over the next decade, elec­tri­fied ve­hi­cles will achieve cost com­pet­i­tive­ness with con­ven­tional ve­hi­cles, cre­at­ing the most sig­nif­i­cant cat­a­lyst for mar­ket pen­e­tra­tion. At the same time, it is im­por­tant to note that elec­tri­fied ve­hi­cles in­clude a large por­tion of hy­brid electrics, which means that even be­yond 2030, the in­ter­nal­com­bus­tion en­gine will re­main very rel­e­vant.

The Cover Story of the cur­rent is­sue is tak­ing a close look at the new prod­ucts and sys­tems that sup­port the devel­op­ment of new pow­er­trains to be com­plaint with the new emis­sion norms and mo­bil­ity so­lu­tions like hy­brids and elec­tric ve­hi­cles.

Bosch, a world-lead­ing multi­na­tional en­gi­neer­ing and elec­tron­ics com­pany, is gear­ing up with prod­ucts to sup­port the up­com­ing BS-VI norms in In­dia. “We are work­ing on a lot of BS-VI prod­ucts and we want to sup­port the OEMs for the timely launch in 2020. We have a big team of sys­tem en­gi­neers and cat­e­gori­sa­tion en­gi­neers who are work­ing on the BS-VI so­lu­tion. On tech­nol­ogy-ag­nos­tic so­lu­tions, we are work­ing closely with var­i­ous OEMs, and leg­isla­tive agen­cies and are try­ing to par­tic­i­pate in leg­is­la­tion and tech­nol­ogy par­tic­i­pa­tion for the fu­ture,” San­deep N, Ex­ec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent, Mo­bil­ity So­lu­tions, Bosch, said.

The Ben­galuru-based Gen­eral Mo­tors Tech­ni­cal Cen­tre In­dia (GMTC-I), an en­gi­neer­ing and re­search cen­tre of Gen­eral Mo­tors(GM), is work­ing on new prod­ucts for the up­com­ing trends in the world mar­ket and help­ing GM to bring in the best fu­ture-ready prod­ucts. “We are fo­cused on the vi­sion of GM that is zero crashes, zero emis­sions and zero con­ges­tion. Zero emis­sion is the ul­ti­mate goal and to achieve this we need to take sev­eral steps. From an in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gine per­spec­tive, we will con­tinue to work on the en­gines and will make it more ef­fi­cient for quite a long time. At the same time, we will also work on elec­tri­fi­ca­tion,” Brian McMur­ray, Vice Pres­i­dent, GMTC-I En­gi­neer­ing and Op­er­a­tions, said.

As the dif­fer­ent types of the hy­brid elec­tric ve­hi­cles (HEV) are be­com­ing real com­peti­tors of the clas­si­cal ICE-driven cars, hy­brid spin-off ap­pli­ca­tions, such as the in­te­grated starter-gen­er­a­tor (ISG) is emerg­ing with ben­e­fits to hy­brid elec­tric ve­hi­cles. It was in this back­ground that Con­ti­nen­tal de­vel­oped its first 48V mild-hy­brid sys­tem. It has been de­vel­oped for cost-ef­fi­cient mass hy­bridi­s­a­tion.

The Chen­nai-based Lu­cas TVS is com­ing up with a new trac­tion mo­tor for elec­tric ve­hi­cles. “The trac­tion mo­tor is our first step to­wards the new things that are hap­pen­ing in In­dia. The mo­tors will be of 1 kWh, 3 kWh and 5 kWh and will be able to power, e- rick­shaw and e-au­tos,” Aravind Balaji, Joint Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Lu­cas TVS, said.

Ashok Ley­land in­tro­duces ‘In­no­line’ - World’s first BS4 en­gine driven by an in­line fuel pump

Hy­brid sys­tem in a pas­sen­ger car

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