Coming out of a strong 2014 in the US and China but full of uncertainties in other parts of the world, the motor industry remains uncertain how to deal with its biggest short-term challenge: lower emissions.
While industry experts and analysts herald the arrival of the connected and autonomous cars, closer at hand lies a huge car industry debate – the one focusing on the driving force that lies under the bonnet. The powertrain challenge sees the car industry gearing up for the ultimate challenge – meet increasingly tough emissions and fuel economy goals. Automakers are developing even better versions of the traditional gasoline and diesel engines, but the threshold won’t be easily met without electric cars in the line-up.
According to Andy Palmer, one of the key executives behind the creation of the Nissan Leaf as the Japanese manufacturer’s chief product official and now the chief executive of luxury sports car manufacturer Aston Martin, “the hot debate is fuel-cell versus electric car.” The Leaf is the best-selling electric car in the world.
The end of 2014 seems to have favored the fuel cell cars, as Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, has introduced the Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell powered vehicle, while BMW has hinted towards a fuel-cell model in its “i” range of eco models.
Via Financial Times