BOSTON, Dec. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Long-term proposals to limit harmful emissions and raise fuel economy even further, and reviews to driving test cycles that closely match real driving conditions, could force auto makers to increase their electrification efforts, as commented in the recent Strategy Analytics report, OEM Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Strategies: Emissions Mandates Will Grow Demand.
While there are continuing efforts to increase efficiency with combustion engines that enable affordable short- and mid-term compliance, the new proposals require higher levels of improvement forcing some auto makers to adopt new strategies to be in compliance. In addition, there are also proposals that look into the formation of low emission zones in city centers and a possible further reduction in nitrogen oxides and particulate matter emissions that could affect competing diesel powertrains.
Examples of new strategies include the development of standard 48 volt architectures for high volume, cost effective mild hybridization across whole model line-ups, increasing use of engine-off functionality such as "coasting" to a stop and when cruising along the highway. While some auto makers have revised their strategies to move from mild to full hybridization, alternative fuels and hydrogen fuel cells are also being explored further.
"The problem for electrification strategies is to develop powertrains that remain affordable to consumers – while gasoline prices stabilize and even fall," said Kevin Mak, Senior Analyst in the Automotive Electronics Service (AES) at Strategy Analytics. "Without the battery chemistry breakthrough, we believe that a standard 48 volt mild hybrid system fitted across a model range can bring about the increased electrification necessary for auto makers to meet future mandates, but without the high cost associated in deploying large battery packs as on a niche selection of full hybrid and plug-in vehicles. Meanwhile, developments in dynamic wireless charging may also provide an alternative to large battery packs in the long-term."
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