Mobility is currently undergoing a phase of fundamental change. Changing customer behavior, technological developments and new business models, new players on the market are leading to changes in the automotive industry. The current megatrends in the automotive industry are electrification, energy efficiency and autonomous driving. Due to the Covid 19 crisis, the automotive industry is facing new challenges, such as shortages of chips, logistical problems with components and delivery difficulties.
At the expert talk "Expectations and challenges of automotive technology: Is the future electric, autonomous and accident-free?" on September 8, 2022, Dr. Peter Schöggl, Vice President Vehicle and Racing, AVL List GmbH, Graz, spoke about the expectations and challenges for automotive technology. He has been with AVL List GmbH in Graz for 26 years and holds more than 20 international patents in the areas of Vehicle, Racing and ADAS. In the Executive MBA Mobility Transformation program he teaches "Automated and Connected Driving".
Dr. Peter Schöggl started his presentation with an overview of automotive trends between 2019 and 2022. The buzzwords of automotive trends in 2019 were connected systems, autonomous driving, electrified vehicles. In 2022, the war in Ukraine has caused an energy crisis, resulting in limited energy availability and rising energy costs. Based on these facts, future vehicle technology will depend on three important factors: the type of energy, e.g., availability, sustainability, and cost; the type of energy storage; and vehicle solutions, e.g., customer benefits, characteristics, cost, legislation, etc.
The Paris Agreement to reduce CO2 emissions and limit the temperature to below two degrees affects the development of vehicles by the automotive industry. With the European Green Deal, the EU will reduce net emissions of greenhouse gases to zero by 2050 (Commission, 2022). In the context of CO2 emissions from passenger cars in Europe, he talked about CO2 emissions from passenger cars using different energy sources in the EU and CO2 emissions from automobile production. He described the sustainable energy path and mentioned the advantages and disadvantages of the different CO2-free energy forms. He talked about the possible energy sources for future mobility, such as battery electrics, hydrogen/fuel cells and biofuels & power to X-fuels.
The development of future vehicles and vehicle systems should take into account vehicle configuration, trends in global car sales, and country-specific requirements for cars. For example, people in China prefer a larger car display. In Japan, the Japanese prefer small cars due to parking problems. Japan already has a high proportion of hybrids. To save energy for electric cars, a good aerodynamic design is needed. Energy density of energy sources, energy storage and conversion, and powertrain will play another important role in the development of future vehicles. For electric cars, battery selection is most important.
It was a good opportunity to learn from the experts about the current and future challenges in automotive technology and the possible solutions to overcome these challenges.