Death of engines overstated, fully electric world a 'comic book' fantasy: Japanese test company


Most analysts agree the future of the automobile will slowly but increasingly come to rely on battery power.

Electric cars will slowly displace internal combustion engines, many researchers suggest, and peak demand for fossil fuels used in transportation could arrive as soon as the next decade.

What will become of companies, then, that focus on developing and manufacturing technology to test vehicle emissions if electric cars don't create any?

DON'T MISS: UBS study predicts electric-car cost parity in Europe could arrive by 2018

The Japanese company Horiba isn't sweating that future, and its CEO thinks that day will never come.

Horiba's emission-testing equipment was crucial in discovering Volkswagen Group's diesel emission-cheating software.

CEO Atsushi Horiba believes there will always be a place for his company, as he said in an interview with Bloomberg, suggesting "any academic who says 100 percent of cars will be electric in the future has been reading too many comic books."

Petro-Canada gas station, Crossfields, Alberta, with electric-car charging station

Petro-Canada gas station, Crossfields, Alberta, with electric-car charging station

Enlarge Photo

His argument is rooted in the reality of infrastructure: the executive believes it's not feasible that companies will set up electric-car charging stations in the most remote locations.

Electric cars may well gain significant momentum in developed countries, he predicted, but emerging markets will continue to rely on fossil fuels, especially diesel.

“It’s not an issue of technology, it’s just reality,” the executive said.

READ THIS: Electric cars will cost less to buy than regular cars by 2025: analysis

Despite his prediction, automakers have begun to embrace an electrified future.

Chinese-owned Volvo announced its entire lineup will offer electrified versions, including various plug-in hybrid and battery-electric vehicles, starting in 2019.

Volkswagen has begun a major electric push, and both companies intend to take advantage of huge incentives in China for emission-free vehicles.

Petro-Canada gas station, Crossfields, Alberta, with electric-car charging station

Petro-Canada gas station, Crossfields, Alberta, with electric-car charging station

Enlarge Photo

Meanwhile, the fanfare over Tesla has hardly diminished as its affordable Model 3 enters the market; it will supposedly be built in true mass-production volumes by this December.

Analysts believe electric cars will achieve price parity with internal-combustion vehicles in around eight years.

But Horiba believes any automaker that doesn't invest in (more efficient) internal combustion engines will fall short during the lengthy transition period to come.

CHECK OUT: Missing piece in global vehicle emission puzzle: heavy trucks

The chief executive believes there will be 15 years before electric cars begin to gain notable market share, and in the meantime, fossil-fuel powered vehicles will continue serve as the world's default transportation.

Even if he is taken by surprise, should electric cars prove more popular than expected, Horiba is poised to prosper.

The Japanese supplier has embraced autonomous driving, and now half of its operating profit came from software and chip-related businesses.

_______________________________________

Follow GreenCarReports on Facebook and Twitter

 
Follow Us

Take Us With You!

 


 
© 2017 Green Car Reports. All Rights Reserved. Green Car Reports is published by Internet Brands Automotive Group. Stock photography by izmostock. Read our Cookie Policy.