Vienna-While in many places the combustion engine is considered as an obsolete and no longer contemporary technology, more than 1.000 engineers meet at the 38th Engine Symposium at the Vienna Hofburg in order to discuss about the future of the different power train systems.
However, there was no sign for an elimination of the combustion engine. It was rather about the subjects of emission reductions and the relief for urban areas. Beside the alternative power train concepts and possible alternatives to the currently used fuels, the focus was placed above all on sustainable processes and production methods.
“Before a vehicle can drive, the production of this vehicle has already caused a considerable consumption of energy. Also the subsequent recycling of the vehicle and the material used for it have to be taken into account in an integral consideration,” indicates Sebastian Hahn, Marketing Director at Fritz Winter. The integral consideration of the energy balance of vehicles and their power train concept “from the cradle to the grave” was in the focus at the booth of Fritz Winter. “This approach shows that for example the ecobalance of aluminium in comparison with grey cast iron is devastating. Our cylinder crank cases produced by means of the ecoCasting procedure completely consist of recycling material, are more sustainable, more cost-efficient and as far as the comparison of the complete engine is concerned, we talk about a weight difference of only 1,5%”.
This assumption was supported by a study of the Cranfield University published at Vienna. Here, an essentially better sustainability is attested to grey cast iron.
Also the future of the electric mobility was actively discussed: “Unfortunately, an electric power system does not automatically mean that no CO2 is ejected anymore. CO2-neutral electricity is not yet available on a comprehensive scale. This means that the CO2 emission issue is only relocated”, a visitor of the Fritz Winter booth resumes.
The discussion about the power train of the future will continue in the years to come. The combination of the advantages of the different power train concepts, that is an increasing hybridization of vehicles was also an important topic. This means that the combustion engine is not dead for a long time yet.