Engine gurus at powertrain components provider BorgWarner have some interesting views on the rise of electric vehicles.
Stefan Demmerle, who is president of BorgWarner’s PowerDrive Systems unit, said that since some of the first cars ever made were electrically powered it could be argued that EVs are making a comeback.
When asked whether he is disheartened about the future of the internal combustion powertrain because of all the bad press diesels have attracted, Demmerle told me: "It is no problem to stay motivated every day because there are tons of challenges waiting for us."
Juergen Adam, who is business director for the eBooster turbocharger at BorgWarner Turbo Systems, expects the internal combustion engine to remain a major player for another two decades.
"We see a growing market and that market needs high-tech components -- whether it is for an internal combustion engine, a hybrid or an EV," Adam said. "Therefore, there are a lot of open fields to play on."
Demmerle doesn’t see a rapid switch to battery-powered cars for a practical reason. "We don’t have enough electric power to drive that yet," he said.
He also wonders whether we would all lose if powerplants increased their output to satisfy the needs of a future fleet of zero-emissions vehicles by simply burning more coal or more fuel. Such a move wouldn't lead to less pollution.
"We [at BorgWarner] are trying to do the right things for our kids and the environment," Demmerle said. "We really want to cut back on CO2 and provide breathable air for everyone."
To get there, Demmerle and Adam are big proponents of baby steps.
"If you want to do it right then do it in small increments on a high volume rather than big increments on a small volume,” Demmerle said. “With small increments, we can make a big difference."