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Transmission becomes the driver

DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY -- (Marketwire) -- 01/09/09 --

7th International CTI Symposium "Innovative Automotive Transmissions" (2nd and 3rd December 2008, Berlin, Germany) and 1st International CTI Forum "Alternative and Hybrid Drive Trains" (4th and 5th December 2008, Berlin, Germany)

  * Drive technology reduces consumption and emissions
  * Alternative drives still too expensive
  * Challenges: battery technology, costs and infrastructure
  * Combustion engine and transmission will survive

Frankfurt/Berlin, January 2009. Transmission development can be the automotive industry's key technology for a way out of the crisis and towards environmentally-friendly cars. The sector has to bring innovations to the market quickly. Manufacturers and suppliers have to cooperate more closely in the future to meet the economic, technical and ecological challenges of the coming years. This was illustrated at the 7th International CTI Symposium "Innovative Automotive Transmissions" on 2nd and 3rd December 2008 in Berlin, Germany. At this meeting of the transmission sector, about 1,000 experts from Europe, Asia and the USA discussed innovative drive concepts and energy sources for cars. About 90 exhibitors presented the latest developments in the field of transmissions at the accompanying trade exhibition "Transmission Expo". "We simply can't stop working in times of crisis," said Dr. Thomas Schlick, Managing Director of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), at the symposium, "technology and innovation are the basis of our industry." The future of the automotive industry had to be guaranteed. According to Schlick it "is a question of sustainability." Rolf Najork, Managing Director Product Development at Getrag-Ford Transmissions, argued that the transmission engineers should be the driving force.

Car crisis will at least last a year - innovations are essential Keith Michael, Chief Engineer Transmissions at Tata Motors Europe, assumed that the car crisis would still last one or two years. David Lauth, Vice President Europe at CSM Worldwide, imagined that the USA might slowly recover in the third quarter of 2009 while the crisis would last until the first half of 2010 in Europe. Dr. Robert Fischer, Managing Director of AVL List, emphasised that it was not a demand crisis but a "confidence crisis caused by the financial crisis". Getrag-Ford expert Najork asked to advance innovations. "It is not that bad as we often think," said Najork. The car companies should use the crisis to improve their diversity for the time afterwards - since "the big problems will remain". VDA Managing Director Schlick estimated that the crisis would last 12 to 15 months.

Low-emission vehicles only through electric drivetrain A partial or complete electric drive system is the key to low-emission vehicles. Either batteries or fuel cells can be used, with costs and infrastructure as the biggest challenges in both cases if the technology is meant to be usable for the masses. The progress is considerable, but the combustion engine will still be the basic drive concept. The speakers at the 1st International CTI Forum "Alternative and Hybrid Drive Trains" on 4th and 5th December 2008 in Berlin, Germany, came to the conclusion that emissions and fuel consumption thus had to be optimised. Dr. Andreas Truckenbrodt, CEO of the Canadian Automotive Fuel Cell Corporation (AFCC), asked the automotive industry, infrastructure operators, legislators and customers to cooperate: "The issue of alternative drives cannot be solved by one party alone." Gerd Bofinger, Manager Transmission Development at Porsche, saw "great optimisation potential in internal combustion vehicles". About 220 international experts gathered at the conference to discuss hybrid and electric drives, plug-in hybrids, fuel cells and battery technologies.

Marketability and costs of batteries and fuel cells "Plug-in hybrids can reduce CO2 emissions in certain applications and cover shorter distances without any emissions," summarised Dr. Christian H. Mohrdieck, Director Fuel Cell and Battery Development at Daimler. Plug-in technology had advantages in consumption, operating costs, dynamics, noise and use of renewable energies. The battery was the critical component in terms of technology and costs. Jörg Grotendorst, Executive Vice President of the Hybrid Vehicle Division at Continental asked for the optimisation of all components, like battery, infrastructure, charging possibilities and drive. An external charging device was thus desirable for the long-term. In the following eight to ten years, the battery costs should be reduced by 70 to 80 percent. "Battery and fuel cell belong together," emphasised Dr. Andreas Truckenbrodt. There was shortage in charging time and range: "A modern battery is enough for 100 kilometres, a fuel cell for 400 kilometres. 1.2 gigawatts would be needed to charge the 20 kilowatt hours required for a range of 100 km in one minute - this is impossible." Fuel cell costs had to be "reduced by a factor of 20", analysed Truckenbrodt .That could be achieved through high quantities, a holistic approach with improved and simplified technology as well as an appropriate supply chain. Expansion of the hydrogen infrastructure was especially important. Truckenbrodt was convinced that "the previous drive technology will still be highly significant."

The 2nd International CTI Forum "Alternative and Hybrid Drive Trains" with accompanying trade exhibition will take place from 15th to 18th June 2009 in Berlin.

The 8th International CTI Symposium "Innovative Automotive Transmission" with accompanying trade exhibition will take place from 30rd November to 4th December 2009 in Berlin.

This announcement was originally distributed by Hugin. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

Copyright © Hugin AS 2009. All rights reserved.

Carsten M. Stammen
Press Relations Officer
Car Training Institute
A division of Informa Deutschland SE
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D-60327 Frankfurt am Main
Phone: +49 (0) 69 / 244 327-3390
Email: Email Contact

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