The Not So Electric Near Future

The Not So Electric Near Future

The public is overestimating the impact EVs will have on the car parc in the immediate future.

As some of you might know, I spent my last six years in the automotive aftermarket covering the tire industry. About two years ago, the first EV-specific tires were launched, and it begged the question: What makes tires for EVs different than tires for ICE vehicles? Many companies on the parts side of the aftermarket are applying this same question to their businesses: How should I enhance my product to optimally perform on an EV? At AAPEX last year, I saw quite a few examples of e-axles, e-motors, thermal management systems and other solutions that addressed the performance considerations for EVs.

Arguably, this is part of the natural mobility evolution and the direction much of the automotive industry is heading on its sustainability journey. However, in my conversations with aftermarket professionals, it’s clear the public is overestimating the impact EVs will have on the car parc in the immediate future. That brings me to the point of our cover story, which at first glance, seems like the opposite of anything EV-related…

Valvoline’s Roger England, vice president and chief R&D officer, shares the company’s approach to clean motor oil in our cover story here. Clean motor oil? Yes, really. England explains that especially for its motor oils—a product that seems the least environmentally friendly to the public—Valvoline is focused on reducing emissions for ICE vehicles and providing solutions for hybrids. These two powertrains will be around for the foreseeable future—at least the next 50 years—and Valvoline is committed to producing products that make these vehicles as clean as possible.

Other aftermarket companies, with strong OE businesses providing EV solutions, have taken a similar approach. Last summer, I spoke with Arnd Franz, CEO of the MAHLE Group, who described the “plurality of solutions” the company is looking to provide customers as it moves forward with its MAHLE 2030+ plan. Franz told us that means EVs, hybrids and highly efficient and clean internal combustion engines are part of the whole mobility picture.

In a recent installment of the Schwartz Advisors Report last November, Derek Kaufman, managing partner for Schwartz Advisors, shared that he’s “rooting for eFuels to prolong the use of ICE powertrains well into the future.”
So, where do you and your company stand on the outlook for EVs and the clean solutions for ICE powertrains? Drop me a line at [email protected] to delve into this topic further. AMN

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