Wednesday 13 November 2019

Diesel will be a key player for years, says engine expert

Michael Winkler KIA
Michael Winkler KIA
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

Diesel may be down but it's far from out. That's the conviction - to be expected, of course - from senior executives in KIA/Hyundai and BMW, whom I interviewed.

Michael Winkler, head of powertrain at Hundai, says diesel will remain the fuel of choice for large numbers of Europeans for years to come.

There has to be diversification share but diesel works on so many levels, especially on its low C02 emissions, he says.

"We will have different shares of powertrains for different markets. Diesel's share will decrease into the future but it still has a big, relevant role."

That will come as some comfort to Irish owners fearful of price rises at the pumps and lower trade-in values.

At industry level, Mr Winkler says the big challenge is to work out what will be in demand in future. Because of that uncertainty his company is building cars that can accommodate many powertrains - electric, hybrid, diesel or petrol.

And on the latter he forecasts growth in 'mild-hybrid' where the petrol engine gets a boost at critical times, leading to a significant drop in emissions.

He sees that as a big advantage over electrics and hybrids because there is no battery pack to lug around.

Indo Motoring

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