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Fossil fuels still rule, OK?

2013-01-11 09:56

MORE FAD THAN FUNCTIONAL: Automotive manufacturers believe smarter, more frugal and even cleaner, internal combustion engines are the immediate future of the industry and not battery cars such as this..

The internal combustion engine is the foreseeable future - not the the battery buggy and its cousins.

The Detroit News reports that KPMG, a US audit, tax and advisory company, surveyed auto executives and found that electric vehicles won't comprise more than 15% of all global new-vehicle sales for at least a dozen more years.

Betsy Meter, local automotive leader from KPMG's Detroit office, said: "The combustion engine today is still a very viable alternative."

The study found that while electric vehicles may be attracting buzz, especially in the US where sales of of such cars tripled (to still infinitesimal numbers) in 2012, automakers remain tepid about future EV sales.

About 24% of the 200 executives (US global) interviewed by KPMG said their companies would invest most heavily in downsizing and improving internal combustion engines through the next five years.

STILL VIABLE ALTERNATIVE

Nearly 75% say improving internal combustion engines will offer more efficiency and produce less carbon-dioxide than any electric vehicle option for at least the next decade. Ford is quoted as an example of this, with its smaller but more powerful, EcoBoost engines.

Gary Silberg, National Automotive Industry leader for KPMG said:  "When you look at current MPG estimates for new cars, it's very evident that automakers are continuing to significantly improve engine efficiency, What's clear is that the internal combustion engine is not going away any time soon."

Automakers were much more likely to make plant investments, too, the survey found, despite overcapacity risks in many global markets, among them North America, where General Motors, Chrysler Group and Ford are already running above capacity.

About 64% of auto executives said that they would increase investment in new plants during the next five years; in 2012's survey 55% said that they planned to increase investments.

The survey also found that executives ranked Volkswagen Group, Hyundai and BMW as favourites to increase global market share during the next five years.


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