Do automakers still see potential in ICE technology?

Elle Farrell-Kingsley explores the potential for further improvements in internal combustion engines at a time when many OEMS are switching to EV

Even with all the buzz surrounding electric vehicles (EVs), hydrogen fuel cells, and the numerous gaseous alternatives, some original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), such as Renault, Rolls-Royce and BMW, are still betting on the benefits of innovating the internal combustion engine (ICE). ICE technology made its way into vehicle applications with the invention of spark ignition (SI) gasoline engines and compression ignition (CI) diesel engines in the early 1900s. Both principles are still in use today.

Special report: Light vehicle ICE innovation

Earlier this year, Luca de Meo, Chief Executive of Renault, revealed that he believes there is still "potential in internal combustion engine (ICE) technology." de Meo told Automotive World that ICE is seen as a stable cash generator business, leading to an “industrial need” to isolate his company into two divisions—ICE and EV.

He considers ICE "an old game that we know. If I carve out the ICE activities and combine them with another player, this kind of thing will give an advantage in cost. I will be able to cash out some of the mergers that come from business to invest them in new technology," de Meo told Automotive World. 

Interestingly, Audi recently announced it will altogether scrap its ICE developments by 2025, ten years ahead of the European 2035 zero-emissions goal.

"ICE will not vanish as a key technical option in the future"

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