Upcoming Trends In Powertrain Technology
The core system of any vehicle is the powertrain, which is currently under focus as the entire vehicle architecture is undergoing a sea of change. Vehicles today, be it 2-wheeler, four-wheeler or commercial, are evolving to automated, software-powered personal devices that are eco-friendly.
Looking closer to home, India's roadmap points towards complete electrification of vehicles over the next decade. The entire automotive sector, from OEMs to component manufacturers are investing heavily in R&D towards automotive electrification.
And at the core of this R&D is powertrain.
Powertrains over the years have seen numerous changes and trends. There are numerous changes and developments that come into effect due to the needs and wants of the OEMs. These changes are taking place at a pace that was unforeseen a few years ago.
Impact of Government Norms
The first emission norm with the name `India 2000' was introduced in the year 2000 by the BSES for all types of vehicles in the country. However, till recently, Indian emission norms lagged the international markets. The introduction of the BS VI norms, effective from April 2020, brought about a remarked change in this policy.
The BS-VI emission norm is not only for motor vehicles but also for the fuel being dispensed. Sulphur and nitrogen oxide play an important role in petrol and diesel. BS6 fuel has less Sulphur and NOx, as compared to BS4. The Sulphur content in BS4 fuel is 50ppm, it is five times lower in the BS6 fuel, which is at 10ppm. According to the international council of clean transmission- it indicated that the NOx levels in BS6 were cut down to 70 percent in diesel and 25 percent in petrol.
The shift to BS VI technologies enables Indian OEMs to match their global counterparts, opening new opportunities. This has also been a great way to assess the roadmap to electrification.
The Future Trends
BS VI represents a host of changes in the vehicles. The demand for after treatment devices and other technologies rose, providing new opportunities.
The next challenge, however, lies in Real Driving Emissions (RDE) Norms. RDE will be implemented from April 2023 and looks at real-world emissions through the lifecycle of a vehicle.
India has a diverse geography, with temperatures ranging from 10-degree Celsius to 45 degree Celsius. This presents a challenge for automotive companies in terms of meeting emission norms at all stages. However, as India moves towards a future of lower emissions, the evolution of the powertrain is imperative to achieve the goals.
This also provides manufacturers with a good indicator on customer response and the requirements for the transition from ICE to hybrid to electric vehicles.
As per a research conducted by a leading fuel giant - on an average, consumers in India said they would consider purchasing an EV by 2022. This is two years earlier than the global average of 2024.
The consumer of today has also evolved - looking at cars as personal devices. Apart from feature comforts and safety factors, they demand a range of powertrains options in a car. While the shift is towards electric, the consumer prefers a hybrid model today, avoiding range anxiety and other issues related to an EV.
The Indian powertrain sector affords immense opportunities, driven by policy and consumer preferences. Today, every Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) is moving to electric. The major drivers for electrification are growing battery range, changing customer choices as well as decreasing battery costs. Powertrain electrification will change the current mobility value chain, forcing mergers and new partnerships as well as opening up new revenue and profit provisions for existing and new players. The most recent developments in the powertrain are encouraged by the electrification of it in multiple components. It is viewed as the next big revolution for the industry.