Business Standard

Diesel’s death is overstated, says Horiba

- KEVIN BUCKLAND & MASATSUGU HORIE

What is the market leader in equipment for measuring automobile emissions to do if the vehicles of the future don’t spew exhaust? Japan’s Horiba, whose gear was central in ex posing Volkswagen’s(VW’s) diesel cheating scandal, believes that day will never come.

Electric vehicles( E Vs) won’ t ever makeup more than a third of autos worldwide, says Chief Executive Officer At sushi Ho rib a, because it’ s just not feasible to build the scale of infrastruc­ture to enable battery powered cars. Who, for example, would setup a charging station in the middle of the Arizona desert, he said in a recent interview in Tokyo. Automobile­s with internal combustion engines —including those using diesel —will continue to have a place, particular­ly in emerging markets, hesaid.

“Any academic who says 100 percent of cars will be electric in the future has been reading too many comic books ,” said Horiba, the 69year-old son of the company’ s founder, speaking in Japanese. “It’ s not an issue of technology, it’s just reality.”

Despite his confidence, signs are pointing to a major accelerati­on in the electrific­ation of automobile­s in the two years since VW admitted to installing so called defeat devices in diesel cars to circumvent clean-air regulation­s in the US. China, home to the world’ s biggest automobile market, is usher in gin stringent cap-and-trade fleet-based emission and fuel-economy regulation­s. Government­s in the UK, France, Norway and India have set aggressive targets to ban the sale of fossil fuel-burning cars.

Auto makers are racing to develop E Vs, with Sweden’ s Volvo Car Group aiming to introduce all electrifie­d models in its line-up by 2019. Electric cars will out sell fossil-fuel powered vehicles within two decades as technologi­cal advances push down battery prices faster than previously thought, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance report in July.

However, Horiba, whose company makes about 80 percent of the automotive emission measuremen­t systems sold worldwide, sees no need torus hand change tack. Auto makers that don’ t continue to invest in internal combustion engines won’ t be able to survive the 15 or more years to see the day when EV technology starts to really take hold, he said.

 ??  ?? Electric vehicles won’t ever make up more than a third of autos worldwide, says Atsushi Horiba, because it’s just not feasible to build the scale of infrastruc­ture to enable batterypow­ered cars
Electric vehicles won’t ever make up more than a third of autos worldwide, says Atsushi Horiba, because it’s just not feasible to build the scale of infrastruc­ture to enable batterypow­ered cars

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