Continental Focuses on Efficient Combustion Engine Technologies
Continental, the worldwide premium tire manufacturer and technology company, recently announced that it would divert increased funds into research and development of hybrid and electric drive systems as part of the company’s new global “Powertrain Strategy 2020+”.
Focusing on two key targets, Continental is recognising the demand for the most efficient combustion engine technologies that will lower carbon emissions and looking to benefit from the prospective growth in environmentally friendly hybrid and fully electric drive systems. While Continental’s Powertrain division won’t entirely move away from fine-tuning motors, it sees electric and hybrid vehicles accounting for 40 per cent of the global car market by 2025.
Commenting on Continental’s ‘Powertrain Strategy 2020+’, Jose A. Avila, a member of the Executive Board and President of Continental’s Powertrain division said: “Moving forward, we will gradually implement our new strategy and expect a falling demand for newly developed mechanic and hydraulic engine components. In accordance with this trend, we will reduce our investment in these technologies, instead looking to the growth in innovative electronic, sensor and software systems due to increasingly stringent emission requirements worldwide.”
“Our Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) business is already experiencing a rising order intake. We expect a growing turnover of approximately $130 million today to up to $1 billion by 2021. Continental is planning to pursue business opportunities of almost $2 billion by 2025, with further investment in research and development of HEV-related technologies. This is why we intend to spend over $300 million more than previously projected,” he added.
Meanwhile, in the Middle East region, the United Arab Emirates is leading the way in green mobility and line with an initiative targeting a 10 per cent share for hybrid and electric vehicles of all new cars purchased by 2020.
Moreover, in association with the Roads and Transport Authority and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy has set new targets to cut down carbon emissions by 16 per cent by 2021 by increasing the green mobility share. This would mean that all government organisations would be required to include hybrid and electric vehicles in their fleets.
Continental is well-positioned to benefit from the shift from traditional combustion engines as it offers a range of components, sensors and sophisticated electronics systems for hybrid and fully electronic cars. Along with an increased order intake and profitability, the Powertrain division is forecast to be nine per cent of global sales this year and rise to approximately 10 per cent in years to come.