As the leading supplier of coordinate measuring machines and styling studio equipment to the biggest names in the automotive industry, we’ve seen a lot over the years.
We were first established back in 1978, the same year that Chrysler sold its European interests (including those in the UK) to Peugeot and at a time when front-wheel drive was fast becoming a common feature on family cars.
That was almost 40 years ago, and during that time we’re extremely proud to say that we’ve supplied more than than 3,000 machines in 30 countries over six continents. As a trusted partner to many of the automotive industry’s manufacturers, it’s a figure we continue to keep building upon.
RIP internal combustion engine
For all of its many twists and turns, trends and developments, one of the most notable changes to have taken place within the sector to date, is undoubtedly the death of the internal combustion engine.
In fact, such is its impact, that it’s being referred to as the biggest disruption for car manufacturers since the creation of the combustion engine itself.
The rapid advancements in battery technology in recent years has definitely increased the pace of the demise of the combustion engine seeing demand and has fueled the massive interest for electric vehicles taking off on a whole new level.
Are electric vehicles the panacea?
It’s estimated that by 2025, electric vehicle sales will go from making up one per cent of global car sales to 14 per cent.
We already know that BMW is looking to electrify its entire range, so too, is Volvo. While Volkswagen plans to introduce 20 new all-electric cars by 2020 with a manufacturing plan capable of building two to three million all-electric cars a year by 2025.
And that’s just a glimpse at what some of the manufacturers have up their sleeves, the future of the automotive industry is literally going to be electric to say the least.
But is this the panacea that we’re all being led to believe it’s going to be?
Wait, something’s missing…
For all of the excitement and high profile media announcements surrounding the electrification of vehicles, we couldn’t help but notice here at ITP Group that the conversation, the commentators, in fact, the world, are all failing to spot something here...
….they’re missing a really crucial stepping stone in the entire process.
Right now, there isn’t the right infrastructure in place to make electric vehicles happen and for the battery technology that’s required to do what it needs to do. Everything’s moving in the right direction, but it’s not quite there - yet.
Hydrogen – could it be the stepping stone?
The next step in achieving zero emissions and all-singing, all-dancing electric cars, is hydrogen power. While it may have extremely explosive properties, there are ways of managing how hydrogen is delivered to fuel engines. So much so that many vehicle manufacturers are now starting to see its place in helping develop emissions-busting vehicles.
British manufacturer, CGON, are a prime example of this. They’ve launched a new hydrogen additive technology that can reportedly reduce engine emissions by as much as 80 per cent and improve fuel efficiency by up to 20 per cent.
Practising what we preach
And it’s this pioneering technology that’s being used to fuel one of our trucks right now. We’ve fitted it with a EZero box from CGON, which is designed to reduce emissions and increase fuel efficiency. The box works by creating hydrogen on demand and then pumping it directly into the engine. This creates a fuller burn of the fuel in the engine, which dramatically decreases the number of particles that are being emitted.
Yes, the development of electric vehicles is a major milestone in the automotive sector’s history, but embracing the electric revolution doesn’t have to be such a major deal from a practical perspective. You don’t have to rush out and buy one of Tesla’s ‘mass market’ Model 3 cars (unless you’d obviously like to, of course). While it’s an option, there are plenty more hydrogen-powered stepping stones out there, capable of shifting the electric vehicle vision up by more than just a gear. Watch this space, we’re sure the best is yet to come…
Michael Leiters, chief technology officer at Ferrari, said he could not imagine a fully electric Ferrari sportscar given the current limitations of the technology.