While the continued flavor of the day is electric cars and autonomous vehicles, there are some in the hallowed halls of Detroit who don’t believe that we’ve seen the end of the combustible engine.
Experts are saying that there are still a ton of new and better things coming for the traditional engine in the near future and that we should not discount what’s coming just because it’s not based on an alternative fuel.
This is the view of one analyst from the Eaton Vehicle Group, who points out that while engineers have worked on alternative engine formats for almost a decade, they have yet to reach widespread implementation. What he says is that all the capital is already in place for the internal combustible engine and if a breakthrough is achieved in efficiency or power we could see a reversal in the trend of electrification or, at the very least, programs that grow in step for each technology.
It’s not a totally far-fetched idea if you take a moment and disregard the environmental impact because, as he notes, the cost to retool and rebuild for complete electrification is astronomical. Eaton Vehicle group points to the success that Ford has seen with its EcoBoost technology, and others have seen improvements transmissions that will allow for greater mileage to be had by vehicles which will have a positive impact on said environment.
While he might have a point, we’re hard pressed to think that the higher ups at these big automotive manufacturers are going to walk away from electrification and alternative sources given the growing pressure on automakers to build zero-emissions vehicles. It also took decades for the internal combustion engine vehicle to replace entrenched railroad companies and, given that rail travel hasn’t disappeared, it’s not unlikely that internal combustion engines will see continued use in the future – alongside electric and autonomous cars.