Driving Sustainable Innovation in Mobility
Greenhouse gas emissions have been of global concern for years and the transportation industry is one of the largest contributors to this problem. For this reason, the automotive sector is adopting electromobility, which will also open the door to more innovation.
“The faster electrification arrives, the faster opportunities will arise for companies to develop more smart solutions,” says Alberto Romero, Mexico R&D Director, Vitesco Technologies.
With transportation accounting for 14% of total emissions worldwide, it is critical to work to implement more sustainable mobility solutions. Luckily, many actors are pushing forward the sustainability transition, including regulators, social awareness groups and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM). “While some environmental groups are pushing for decarbonization, society, in general, has already made the switch to favor strategies such as EVs,” says Romero.
One critical part of this transition lies in powertrain technology, which converts energy from the engine to the wheels of a vehicle. Powertrain technology advances play a crucial role in reducing the environmental impact of transportation, as they are the leading agent behind boosting the efficiency behind combustion, electric and hybrid vehicles.
Powertrain systems include engines, transmissions, electric motors and fuel cells. This is why their efficiency and performance are key factors in determining a vehicle’s environmental impact over its life cycle.
For example, modern internal combustion engines are much more efficient than their predecessors, being fuel-efficient and producing less emissions. In the case of electric powertrains, it is possible to eliminate the production of emissions altogether, providing an even greener solution. For hybrid vehicles, the combination of internal combustion engines and electric motors provides an optimal balance between performance and sustainability. This makes hybrid vehicles an attractive proposition for those looking to transition from traditional combustion vehicles to EVs.
Vitesco Technologies is seizing the opportunity to develop smart solutions for more sustainable mobility. With the growing adoption of EVs, Vitesco Technologies is in a unique position to provide solutions that cover all propulsion needs for electric and hybrid vehicles. While EVs may be growing in popularity, it is worth noting that hybrid cars currently have the highest market penetration.
The company has a broad portfolio of products and services that cover everything from electric drives to transmission control units. The company's commitment to sustainability is evident in its "Direction 2030" strategy, which aims to power clean mobility by focusing on leadership in electrified solutions, business excellence, great people, investors' choice and sustainability drivers.
Vitesco Technologies operates in 50 locations worldwide and has over 37,000 employees, making it one of the largest companies in the industry. In 2021, the company achieved a turnover of €8.3 billion (US$8.8 billion) in sales. Vitesco Technologies has been present in Mexico since 1993 and has been working on innovative solutions for sustainable mobility in the region.
In September 2019, Vitesco Technologies began a process to separate from its parent company, Continental Automotive. The move has allowed Vitesco Technologies to focus on driving sustainability and innovation in the mobility industry.
Major automakers are committed to electrification, presenting the industry with major opportunities and challenges. The shift from ICE vehicles to EVs is not limited to passenger vehicles, with commercial trucks and buses rapidly adopting electrification. However, the lack of infrastructure and higher costs of EVs are two major barriers that stand in the way of the democratization of electric transport.
This is where public-private partnerships and collaborative innovation can play a crucial role. By working together, different sectors can pool their resources to build the necessary infrastructure, drive down costs and increase the investment in R&D with the ultimate goal to increase accessibility to electric and hybrid cars. Governments can offer incentives to consumers and businesses to invest in EVs, while private companies can work to develop more efficient batteries and charging solutions. Collaboration between different sectors can also help to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable future by sharing knowledge and expertise. “Public-private partnerships are what will bring collaborative innovation,” says Romero.