Engine Expo

Engine Expo

August 1st, 2020
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Powertrain electrification continues to be a growing trend in vehicular applications. Electric powertrains have numerous advantages over traditional mechanical and hydraulic powertrains but there are still important challenges to overcome for long-term commercial success. This research presents a technological assessment of present and future developments of powertrain electrification in non-road mobile machinery (NRMM). The challenges and opportunities of NRMM electrification are described in detail.

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The trends and drivers related to technological development such as regulations, policies and market development are analyzed, and technology enablers are highlighted. Future scenarios are formulated based on the prevailing trends and drivers, development of key components, scientific literature and status of the non-road mobile machinery industry. Some recommendations are also given in relation to the development of hybrid and electric powertrains for NRMM. The key findings of this research indicate that the electrification of NRMM is slowly started and the progress is demonstrated by hybridization of some specific, successful mobile machines.

In short-term, high component and technology development costs remain the main barrier for higher adoption of electric and hybrid powertrains. In the long-term scenario, many NRMM can operate autonomously and powertrain electrification has become mainstream technology.

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In the modern world, one of the largest concerns is the ever depleting supply of oil. The automotive industry is especially impacted. In recent years the price of gasoline has fluctuated substantially and the price of crude oil has reached record highs. The high price of gasoline coupled with the uncertainty of its availability and future price have put a high priority on fuel economy of an engine. In addition the emissions released from internal combustion (IC) engines are polluting the atmosphere. Many studies have linked the greenhouse gases produced by an automobile engine to the partial destruction of our atmosphere and to global warming. As a result the US government is passing stricter and stricter emissions regulations.

Electricity has been used as an energy carrier in vehicular applications since the invention of the automobile. Through history, electric powertrains have been developed for vehicles and mobile machines but their breakthrough on a larger scale has just started to happen. Despite the benefits of electric powertrains, electrification has been slower than expected due to various technological factors, market drivers and policies. Successful developments in power electronics and especially in lithium-based battery technology have overcome most of the technical challenges . Nowadays, electric powertrains provide at least as good performance as conventional powertrains, and they are inherently more energy efficient and emission free in their operation.

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In this context, powertrain electrification refers to the use of electric power to operate a mobile machine with or without an electrical energy storage. Therefore, it covers full electric, diesel-electric and hybrid powertrains. In some machine applications, usually in heavy-duty machines, an electric powertrain is the only suitable option due to the high torque demand at wheels and controllability requirements. Powertrain electrification is considered as relevant and competitive option to replace hydrostatic and hydrodynamic powertrains to increase energy efficiency . In mobile machines, electric systems could also improve the maneuverability and increase the control accuracy .

For the time being, electric powertrains have not yet been adopted on a large scale in mobile machinery but the recent technological developments strongly indicate that many typical machines can benefit from the use of electricity as traction power and electrification of auxiliary systems .There is a worldwide understanding that air pollutant and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have to be reduced, which in its part encourages the development and adoption of electric powertrains in all vehicular applications and non-road mobile machines (NRMM). Nowadays, most of the NRMM rely on diesel engine technology as the primary power source but the dominance of the diesel engine is changing along with the stricter emission regulations and new fuel options. The new emission regulations will include all the power levels of engines and limitations to the particle mass and number of particles .

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These oncoming regulations for Compression Ignition (CI) engines in European Union (EU), called Stage V, are planned to be implemented around 2019–2020. In the United States, similar emission regulations (Tier 4 Final) have been effective since 2015. Because NRMM include a large number of machines, which are intensively used, their worldwide impact on air pollutant and GHG emissions is significant. For example, in 2012 the share of transportation greenhouse gases produced by NRMM in the United States was about 10%, which corresponds to 50% of the emissions produced by the medium and heavy-duty trucks. The air pollutant emission limits have reduced the emission of NRMM but these emissions are still significant in comparison to on-road vehicles.

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 These major issues are putting pressure on automakers to develop new technologies to increase the fuel economy and decrease the emissions while maintaining or improving the engine’s performance. Several new technologies have resulted. All of these technologies accomplish these goals by increasing the efficiency of an engine. As a whole these technologies are called variable valve actuation. These technologies achieve a higher efficiency by reducing the constants of the engine. However, the added variability increases the time to calibrate an engine. To address this, more testing is being performed using engine simulations instead of physical testing.

Engine Expo + The Powertrain Technology Show will not be taking place in 2020, but a brand-new Engine + Powertrain Technology International magazine conference will run instead, while Automotive Testing Expo, which features over 100 powertrain development and testing exhibitors, will be bigger than ever!

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Held in ​the Messe Stuttgart, Germany, June 16, 17, 18, 2020, Automotive Testing Expo takes place alongside Global Automotive Components and Suppliers Expo which is set to feature numerous under-hood technologies and suppliers of engine technologies and components.

The Sustainable Internal Combustion Engine Symposium – a brand new conference also taking place at Messe Stuttgart on the same dates – will discuss and debate the future of gasoline, diesel and alternative-fuel IC engines. Expert speakers – each sourced by the publishers of Engine + Powertrain Technology International magazine – will present the future concepts and technologies for the IC engine that will ensure a long and prosperous future.

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Furthermore, visitors to Automotive Testing Expo and Global Automotive Components and Suppliers Expo will also gain free access to Autonomous Vehicle Technology Expo.

Automotive Interiors Expo also takes place in Stuttgart June 16, 17, 18, 2020. Note ​that the highly acclaimed International Engine + Powertrain Technology Awards presentation will take place at a spectacular Gala Dinner the same week (invitation only. Details to follow).



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