Porsche, Audi to develop joint electric car platform to save costs

Porsche and Audi, Volkswagen’s main luxury car divisions, plan to develop a joint platform for electric vehicles that will enable them significantly cut down on costs. (Shutterstock)
Updated 10 February 2018
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Porsche, Audi to develop joint electric car platform to save costs

FRANKFURT: Porsche and Audi, Volkswagen’s main luxury car divisions, plan to develop a joint platform for electric vehicles that will enable them significantly cut down on costs, German newspapers quoted their chief executives as saying.
“By 2025, we’re facing a low single-digit billion euro sum to develop the architecture,” Audi CEO Rupert Stadler told both the Stuttgarter Zeitung and Stuttgarter Nachrichten.
“If both would act on their own, costs would be 30 percent higher,” Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said, adding Audi was hiring 550 developers for the project and Porsche 300.
From 2021 onwards, both businesses want to bring several models to the streets based on the joint platform, with Stadler saying that would build two sedan cars in Neckarsulm and two sports utility models at its Ingolstadt base.
Porsche’s Blume said the sportscar maker could build its first model based on the joint architecture in Leipzig, where it is already assembling its Macan sport-utility model. “I currently see good chances for Leipzig,” Blume said.


Saudi Aramco seeks to overhaul engines and fuel amid electric vehicle hype

Updated 06 March 2019
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Saudi Aramco seeks to overhaul engines and fuel amid electric vehicle hype

  • Diesel has proven a key cause of health-threatening nitrogen oxide pollution
  • Saudi Aramco is working on gasoline compression ignition which mixes fuel and air more effectively prior to combustion

GENEVA: More efficient fuels and more sophisticated combustion engines are needed to bring down carbon dioxide pollution and to secure the long-term future of Saudi Aramco’s business, the company’s chief technology officer said on Wednesday.
“The growth of transport is greater than the growth of alternative drivetrains,” Ahmad Al-Khowaiter, Chief Technology Officer at Saudi Aramco told journalists at the Geneva car show.
The spike in electric car production in Europe will not offset an overall increase in global greenhouse gas emissions as emerging economies industrialize and buy cars with petrol and diesel engines, Al-Khowaiter said.
“Improving combustion engines is key to sustaining our business in the long term,” he said.
While carmakers have rolled out advances in combustion engine technology, the availability of sophisticated fuels has not kept pace, Al-Khowaiter said.
Diesel became an industry standard more than 100 years ago and has remained popular mainly because it did not evaporate quickly, making it safer to handle during storage and refueling.
“Rudolf Diesel did not consider fuels which evaporated easily. That was an accident of history,” Al-Khowaiter said, referring to the German founder of the diesel engine technology.
But diesel has proven a key cause of health-threatening nitrogen oxide pollution, which is blamed for respiratory diseases, forcing the industry to explore ways to cut emissions.
“We can now optimize the fuel and the engine at the same time. And we can bring it to market by adding another fuel pump at the gas station, just like it is done with higher octane fuels,” Al-Khowaiter said.
“We do the patents on the fuel development to enable the engines to be efficient,” the executive said.
Saudi Aramco is working on gasoline compression ignition which mixes fuel and air more effectively prior to combustion, resulting in lower nitrogen oxide and soot emissions and a 30 percent improvement in fuel economy.
The petrochemicals giant is also helping to develop mobile carbon capture technologies which could be built into next generation passenger cars for around $1,400 per vehicle, and help to cut carbon dioxide emissions.