There are so many new factors influencing and challenging the standard automotive manufacturing model, some elements of them already with us and some due to arrive in the near future, but all of them will surely combine to produce a new and varied product and manufacturing model that will represent the greatest change since we began mass producing motor cars. The most visible and topical area of influence and change is the automotive engineer’s push to reduce emissions as legislation drives targets down to ever more difficult targets.
The relative real world benefits of future fuels and future powertrain technologies are still very much a matter of debate and although we have witnessed high levels of investment in BEV and hybrid technologies and platforms, there remain important issues with the speed of development of the support infrastructure and the full understanding of the true well to wheel emissions picture. There is some movement in the development of hydrogen fuel cells, but once again issues with the infrastructure and lifecycle analysis means future emissions legislation will almost certainly focus on manufacturing energy (as it already has in other industries) as tailpipe emission reduction targets are met and the uptake of BEVs and Hybrids increase.
The internal combustion engine improvements are now very much in the ‘law of diminishing returns’ area and of course, the recent VW scandal has cast doubt over the diesel emissions performance. The outfall from the VW situation may have a huge impact on both manufacturers’ declared emission and global emission calculations as the average discrepancy between ‘official’ fuel consumption and real world emission figures is around 25 percent. – See more at: http://www.autocarpro.in/opinion-column/future-automotive-manufacturing-10462#sthash.uu8eNDYQ.dpuf