Industries across the world are facing increasing pressure to help minimise threats to the environment, and the automotive industry is no exception. Rising concerns about the potential damage to the environment from vehicle emissions are forcing vehicle manufacturers (VMs) to focus on developing advanced engine technologies to control emissions, improve fuel economy and enhance vehicle performance.
“Complying with stringent emission norms and offering increased fuel savings and better performance are some of the important factors that VMs and suppliers are working towards in terms of powertrain,” says Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst Vijayendra R. Rao. “There is a definite trend toward advanced valvetrain systems for gasoline engines, increased penetration of direct injection for gasoline vehicles, engine downsizing and turbocharging.
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Despite the focus on developing and promoting environmentally friendly engine types, 69 percent of vehicles globally will continue to run on gasoline in 2015 – a significant sum. 26 percent of vehicles are likely to use diesel, while approximately 6.0 percent will be gas-electric hybrid vehicles.
Gasoline vehicles will be tend to predominate in the major automotive markets such as North America and Japan, though hybrid vehicles will also gain popularity in both regions. Diesel engines will establish a strong presence in Europe and India, with their market share in India set to grow from 29 percent in 2005 to 50 percent by 2015.
Alternative fuel vehicles will also gain market share as the global focus on reducing emissions increases. The number of these vehicles will increase to 3.0 million worldwide by 2015, with ethanol and natural gas vehicles expected to be the most prominent among them. Hybrid vehicles will dominate the market for alternative powertrain technologies.
Advanced valvetrain technologies such as variable valvetrain (VVT) are fast gaining in popularity and look set to displace conventional fixed timing systems for gasoline vehicles. Global penetration rates of these technologies will reach 25 to 30 percent by 2015. Injection technologies will follow the same trend, gaining an edge over fixed timing for gasoline engines, as these help comply with emission norms. They are likely to attain penetration rates of 15 to 20 percent in gasoline vehicles worldwide.
Turbocharged engines will appear in a large number of diesel vehicles globally, with penetration rates expected to reach 10 to 15 percent by 2015 in North America alone.
However, VMs and suppliers who are planning to introduce advanced engine and alternative powertrain technologies face a considerable challenge in the high costs of these systems.
“This will have a positive impact on their penetration rates, which are likely to exceed 55 percent among gasoline vehicles in North America by 2015,” says Rao. “Going forward, future-generation vehicles will also witness downsized engines with additional boosting capacity to retain the same power, while reducing emissions and fuel consumption.”
Strategic Analysis of Global Markets for Engine Technologies, part of the Automotive Subscription, provides an overview of different engine technologies such as valvetrain, boosting and injection technologies in the following regions: Europe, North America, Japan, India, South Africa, Russia and China. The study also analyses the uptake of these technologies and the state of the market in each region. Interviews with the press are available.
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