Conventional gasoline engines will continue to be the primary way to power vehicles for the near future, says a recent survey.
According to KPMG’s 13th annual Global Automotive Executive Survey, improving standards in performance and fuel efficiency means internal combustion engines will continue to be the main powerplants driving cars well into the next decade. The survey results, released Feb. 13, indicate however that automakers are expected to continue to invest in electric technology.
"The need for new electric propulsion technology is still top of mind for auto executives around the world given the demand that will be felt in the emerging markets," says KPMG’s Peter Hatges. "Automotive companies will continue to invest heavily in electric propulsion and will play a leadership role in the development of these emerging technologies going forward.”
The battle is bound to intensify, especially among original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers. Over half of survey respondents feel that suppliers of electric components will play a bigger role in automobile manufacturing by 2025.
That’s not to say that the gasoline engine is going away anytime soon. According to Hatges, “How and when fully electric cars will be a reality is dependent on a variety of complex and interrelated factors.”
Approximately two-thirds of survey respondents indicated the optimization of the internal combustion engines over the next five years will offer better efficiency and better chances of reducing carbon emissions. The survey also indicated that worldwide electric vehicle purchases are not expected to top 15 percent in the next 15 years. That figure is significantly lower in the near future as sales of electric vehicles will only account for six to 10 percent of purchases worldwide.
For the 2012 Global Automotive Executive Survey, KPMG interviewed 200 global automotive executives representing vehicle manufacturers, dealers, suppliers and financial service providers from October to November of 2011.
"Electromobility is a colossal issue for the industry," concludes Hatges. “The race is on, but there is no clear winner at this point."
KPMG is an international network of companies operating in 152 countries and offering audit, tax and advisory services. The firm has released an annual survey of automotive executives expressing their views on the state of the industry since 1999.