UPDATED: 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 Autelligence 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 Autelligence 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:
- 1. 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?
- 2. 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?
- 3. How will battery prices develop? How close is $100/kWh?
- 4. 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?
- 5. What is the likelihood that the current trends in powertrain developments will achieve their goals if no technical disruptor emerges?
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Introduction
- 1.1 Consumer attitudes count
- 1.2 Scenarios and developments - the Consensus View
- 1.3 The shape of technical disruptors and innovations
- 1.4 Key questions, uncertainties, and trends
Chapter 2: Overview of market drivers and regulatory requirements worldwide
- 2.1 Criteria and GHG emissions
- 2.2 Fuel economy
- 2.3 Test cycles - the day of reckoning
- 2.4 Fuel availability and affordability
- 2.5 Plug-in sales
- 2.6 Government incentives - its effect on automakers
- 2.6.1 California
- 2.6.2 China
- Chapter 2 Summary - forecasts and uncertainties
Chapter 3: Gasoline engine developments for light duty vehicles
- 3.1 Better fuel economy, more soot
- 3.2 Technology map - a quilt, not a blanket
- 3.2.1 Potential disruptors and innovations
- Chapter 3 Summary - forecasts and uncertainties
Chapter 4: Diesel engine developments for light duty vehicles
- 4.1 Technology - strengths and weaknesses
- 4.2 Growth constrained by high diesel fuel prices and demand
- Chapter 4 Summary - diesel forecasts and trends
Chapter 5: Electric battery storage
- 5.1 Background and batteries - development progresses
- 5.2 Economics and price - is $100/kWh valid?
- 5.3 Battery progress and projections
- 5.4 Battery suppliers
- 5.5 Potential disruptors and innovations in energy batteries
- 5.6 Charging a battery
- Chapter 5 Summary - forecasts and uncertainties for electric battery storage
Chapter 6: New business models and user acceptance of electric vehicles
- 6.1 Mobility as a service
- 6.2 Personal BEVs, fun tempered by range
- 6.3 Synthetic fuels
- Chapter 6 Summary - forecasts and uncertainties
Chapter 7: Trends and projections - a scenario approach
- 7.1 Common assumptions
- 7.2 Low Tech Scenario - less technology and electrification than the Consensus View
- 7.3 High Tech Scenario - accelerated development of high tech combustion and electrified technologies
Appendix A: Powertrain systems overview
- A.1 Electrification of the powertrain
- A.2 Technology and architectures
Appendix B: Transmissions for light duty vehicles
- B.1 Types of transmissions - terms of reference
- Appendix B Summary - forecasts and uncertainties
Appendix C: Electric drive system developments for light duty vehicles
- C.1 Electric motors
- C.2 Power electronics
- C.3 Integrated units
- C.4 48V hybrid developments
- Appendix C Summary - forecasts and uncertainties for electric traction drive systems
Appendix D December 2016 Quarterly Research Update:
- Likely impact of the Trump election
- Potential revisions of the 2025 US CAFE standards
- New analysis of likely developments in battery costs
- Appendix E April 2017 Quarterly Research Update:
- The US 2022 - 2025 CAFÉ Standards: Finalized and then - again - up for review
- EV Sales up worldwide as conservative politics in US dampens incentives
- Black Swan Alert - the Opposed Piston Engine
- 2017 Autelligence Future of Powertrain Survey
- Company profiles
- Hitachi Automotive Systems
- Magneti Marelli
- ZF Friedrichshafen
Table of figures
- Figure 1.1: In a survey conducted by Morpace, the conventional ICE engine remains consumers' number one choice, followed closely by hybrids and GTDI as second and third
- Figure 1.2: Data presenting Continental's Powertrain Outlook for Global private and light vehicle engine production through 2024, referred to in this report as the Consensus View
- Figure 2.1: The need to harmonize conflicting demands on automakers is the challenge today
- Figure 2.2: Summary of regulations, timing of important worldwide criteria, and GHG emissions regulations
- Figure 2.3: Vehicle criteria emissions standards worldwide tend to follow various versions of either European Union or North American/United States regulations. This chart shows worldwide the known conformance roughly to EU standards.
- Figure 2.4: Why Chinese regulations matter - the Chinese market is now the largest in the world and expected to stay that way
- Figure 2.5: A concise view of the fuel economy challenges as stated in 2014 by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
- Figure 2.6: Uncertainty remains in future fuel economy/CO2 regulations in the US, because of the "midterm evaluation", where regulators and automakers will map out future feasibility
- Figure 2.7: Cars are tested using fixed dynamometers on specific schedules on rolling, or chassis, dynamometers. Their emissions are measured over the cycles.
- Figure 2.8: An example of a test cycle conducted on a chassis dyno, this is the proposed worldwide, harmonized test cycle as of 2013
- Figure 2.9: Portable emissions measurement systems will be a key element in RDE test
- Figure 2.10: The US Energy Information Agency (EIA) projects gasoline prices in North America to remain well below $4/gal through 2025 in its 2015 Annual Energy Outlook in the Low Oil Price Scenario
- Figure 2.11: Sales of HEV vehicles sold and marketed in the USA as HEVs wax and wane, in concert with inflation adjusted fuel prices among other factors
- Figure 2.12: The Innovation Diffusion curve is well accepted approach to understanding the demographics of potential users
- Figure 2.13: Fifteen years after introduction, HEVs have not broken out of the demographic group that are willing to try anything
- Figure 2.14: Worldwide sales of EVs and PHEVs increased through 2015, led by China and Western Europe
- Figure 3.1: Efficient turbocharged gasoline direct engines, GTDI, make engines more efficient over a wider range of loads and speeds, improving fuel economy
- Figure 3.2: Note the vast differences in take rates for various engine technologies by region predicted by IHS Automotive by 2020
- Figure 3.3: Ricardo advocates incremental costs towards achieving needed improvements in fuel economy
- Figure 3.4: Steady improvements in fuel consumption per unit of horsepower is shown
- Figure 4.1: ExxonMobil projects that commercial transport will drive future fuel demand, driving up a demand for diesel
- Figure 5.1: This illustration shows the inner workings of a lithium-ion battery
- Figure 5.2: Notional diagram of battery operation for the three recognised modes of electrified powertrains, illustrating why batteries are oversized
- Figure 5.3: Specification for commercialising a suitable battery for an electric vehicle
- Figure 5.4: Using basic assumptions, $100/kWh provides cost parity to a fuel efficient passenger car in North America
- Figure 5.5: Using the same cost model using average electricity prices in Germany and $250/kWhr seems a reasonable cost for battery storage to achieve price parity with gasoline passenger cars
- Figure 5.6: Current status of energy batteries against end-of-life goals as evaluated by USABC and USCAR in December, 2015
- Figure 5.7: One research group, Lux Research, predicts battery prices falling into the $200/kWhr range by 2025
- Figure 5.8: General Motors revealed its cost per kWh for cells and their projected glide path to 2022
- Figure 5.9: Motivation for pursuing advanced electric batteries - the potential to rival gasoline energy density
- Figure 5.10: According to Bloomberg, automotive traction battery costs could potentially bottom out at $100/kWh by 2025 through 2030
- Figure 6.1: With an appropriately sized battery for a range of 150 miles, a BEV costs less to operate than a comparable ICE powered car
- Figure 6.2: Data compiled by General Motors indicates that greater than 70% of potential EV buyers would be satisfied with a BEV that had a range greater than 200 miles on a single charge
- Figure 7.1: Continental's vision of a light duty market dominated by conventional powertrains by 2025 is commonly held in the industry, within certain parameters (reformatted), in millions of units worldwide
- Figure 7.2: A variant chart from the Consensus View of light duty powertrains based on a scenario with drivers that favor lower technology powertrains, in millions of units worldwide
- Figure 7.3: An aggressively optimistic projection of electrified and high technology light duty powertrain distributions as a variant on the Consensus Model, in millions of units worldwide.
- Figure A.1: Conventional powertrain systems have a single source of energy and torque, generated from an internal combustion engine transferred via the crankshaft
- Figure A.2: According to BCG, improvements to powertrain - especially engines - outweighs all other potential conventional improvements automakers could make
- Figure A.3: Generalised torque/speed curve. All ICEs, particularly gasoline, exhibit BSFC maps like this with worse efficiency under low, or part load.
- Figure A.4: MY 2014 vehicle production that meets future US CAFE CO2 emissions targets, from 2016 to the proposed 2025 targets, according to data from the US EPA
- Figure A.5: An example of some of the most common architecture models for "full" HEV systems
- Figure A.6: This chart from Continental is good way to view the various options of electrification, from simple start-stop to a full electric vehicle, in terms of fuel economy at the point of use
- Figure A.7: Comparison of idealised torque curve for an electric motor and an ICE engine, showing how they complement each other
- Figure A.8: The decision landscape between electrification and conventional improvements to meet future fuel economy and CO2 regulations
- Figure B.1: Global transmission sales (millions) projected to 2020
- Figure B.2: The differences in the number of speeds in an automatic planetary gear transmission means the engine will operate more frequently at its most fuel efficient load/speed point
- Figure C.1: The basic electric drive traction system, here shown as part of a hybrid electric system
- Figure C.2: GKN Automotive showcased its new eTwinsterR torque-vectoring electric drive system for hybrid vehicles
- Figure C.3: ZF's electric drive system positioned centrally on the axle is also available as a unit fully integrated into a new modular rear axle concept
- Figure C.4: Some in the industry are using the term 'P4 Hybrid' to describe the electrified axle configuration
- Figure C.5: Continental predicts that saving fuel increases with each level of integration. Energy management can make more comprehensive use of an ICE and electrical energy
Table of tables
- Table 2.1: Forecasts of key market driver questions summarized with probabilities assigned
- Table 3.1: Forecasts of key engine technology questions summarised with probabilities assigned
- Table 4.1: Forecasts of key engine technology questions summarized with probabilities assigned
- Table 5.1: Approximate recharging times per SAE for PEVs and BEVs
- Table 5.2: Forecasts of key battery electric storage questions summarised with probabilities assigned
- Table 6.1: Summary of potential disruptors
- Table C.1: Essential elements of electric traction drive systems
- Table C.2: Essential elements of electric traction drive systems with "stretch"