As Markets Move Slowly To EVs, SEG Auto Offers Solutions To Cut CO2 Emission Of ICEs

By APA Bureau:

The Germany-based SEG Automotive, which specialises in starter motors, electrification components and generators, is driven in its product development by the imperative to reduce carbon emission of internal combustion engines (ICEs). This is in spite of the global trend towards electrification of vehicles.
“The main trend (guiding product development) is the CO2 reduction which is driving our product portfolio and 2025 is a milestone. (Because) we see indications from some governments and discussions in the regions where the new milestone regarding the CO2 target is set,” Juergen Schneider, Vice President, Technology and Products, SEG Automotive, said.
As part of the Paris declaration there are talks about complete electrification of vehicles between 2025 and 2040. But complete electrification would happen only in phases, he said.
According to the Paris declaration, by 2025 electric vehicles will have only a market share of about 15percent. This would mean that 85 percent of the cars will still have ICEs. “Therefore, we need to, increase the efficiency of ICEs,” Schneider said.
“The reduction of CO2 will drive a change in mix of mobility. We cannot rely totally on EVs,” he said. However, the CO2 reduction target will propel mobility gradually towards electrification. While electric cars will be used for short distances, long distance could still be covered by ICEs or hybrid vehicles, he said.
Replacing ICE is still a big question. “Would this be possible beyond a premium segment such as Tesla, Porsche,” Schneider asked. The company has released a Whitepaper which discusses vehicle pollution that has been impacting countries, including India. It also offers solutions to address the problem. The paper discusses engine efficiency strategy for India that focuses on mild hybrid technology for compact cars and light commercial vehicles.
For India, SEG Automotive based at Nagnathpura in Bengaluru, proposes that for better environment the IC engine coupled to very efficient start/stop motors and advanced mild hybrid drivetrains is the best option. This can reduce significant amounts of CO2 emissions during the life cycle of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles in India.
For this, the company has launched SC60 Start/Stop starter motor for the modern gasoline and diesel engines. Anil Kumar M R, Managing Director, SEG Automotive India, said, “Start/Stop is an important technology to make cars more environment-friendly, offering immediate fuel efficiency increases of up to eight percent.”
The company, which was established in India in 1989 as a part of the Bosch group, and now operating as SEG Automotive India Private Limited, had introduced Start/Stop technology first in India in 2008. However, it was mostly fitted in larger cars. The new SC60 Start/Stop starter motor has been developed for the Indian market focusing on smaller combustion engines: it is among the smallest of its kind in the world and can fit into compact cars. It provides up to 1.2kW starting power. The company is working towards bringing more advanced versions of this product.

Paris Declaration Targets

As a result of the Paris Declaration on electro-mobility and climate change, France has announced that it will end sales of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040. Norway, which has the highest penetration of electric cars in the world, has set a target of only allowing sales of 100 percent electric or plug-in hybrid cars from 2025, said Christoph Hoelzl, Press Officer, SEG Automotive Germany GmbH.
Other countries have floated the idea of banning IC engine cars to meet air quality and climate change goals, but have not yet declared concrete targets.
The Netherlands has mooted a 2025 ban for diesel and petrol cars, and some federal states in Germany are keen on a 2030 phase-out. India, where scores of cities are blighted by dangerous air pollution, plans to ban sales of petrol or diesel cars by 2030, and to introduce electric cars in ‘a very big way.’
The UK has an aspiration of all new cars being electric or ultra low emission by 2040, but has been criticised by campaigners and politicians for being slow to act on air pollution.

Expansion Of E-Mobility

Man-made climate change is one of the most important issues now. The transport sector causes around 14 percent of global CO2 emissions. Reducing CO2 emissions from passenger cars and commercial vehicles is an important component in mitigating further climate change. EVs promise a potential future of emission-less driving – if they are powered by renewable energy. However, currently, the market share of EVs in new registrations is only one percent with total sales of 668,000 vehicles in 2017 (YoY: +78 percent). By 2025 a market share increase to 15 percent is projected. However, this means that even then 85 percent of vehicles will still be sold with an IC engine. CO2 emissions for these vehicles must be kept as low as possible.
E-mobility progress is slow mainly owing to the higher acquisition cost of EVs and the limited charging infrastructure. Added to these are issues like uncertain resale value, range restrictions and charging time. Though recharging is cheaper than refuelling, consumers have to spend more on EVs.
By 2030 up to 14 million publicly available charging stations will be needed. Currently, there are only about 430,000. Due to limited charging infrastructure there are range restrictions. Scarcity of battery raw materials like cobalt also is a bottleneck.
Major breakthroughs in battery technology are essential to reduce costs (around $200 per kWh) and emissions (150 – 200 kg CO2 per kWh) from battery production. Batteries are the main reason why EV may not be the best solution for environment. For instance, Tesla Model 3, can have up to 100 kwh of battery. To produce a battery of that size one needs $ 20,000. If one builds a battery of this size, it will cause about 15,000 kg of CO2 in production so the car starts with a burn of 15,000 kgs of CO2. As a comparison if you have an efficient diesel Limousine, it can drive more than 100,000 km without emitting that much CO2, according to the white paper.
Battery-based EVs are not entirely good for environment. There are two aspects, one is the emissions during operations and the other is the indirect emission from power that is generated elsewhere. The indirect emissions might be higher than direct emissions from vehicles. There are also other problems during the lifecycle such
as production and disposal of
batteries and EVs. In developed markets EVs can end up with 60 percent less emission while in emerging markets it can cause up to 30 percent more emissions in the lifecycle of the vehicle, when driven for up to 200,000 km.


A 48V hybrid, for now and in the near future, will be the most efficient solution for minimising CO2 emissions over the life cycle in markets with a suboptimal energy mix (e.g. China, USA, India, and Germany).
The conventional alternator is replaced by a 48V Boost Recuperation Machine (BRM). It employs the braking force recovery technology (recuperation) familiar from Formula 1 to reduce
fuel consumption by up to 15 percent. In the medium term, 48V  will be indispensable for achieving
CO2 emission targets – after all, 85percent of new vehicles will still be equipped with an internal combustion engine even in 2025. The solution also proves beneficial for consumers – in contrastto EVs and PHEVs, the increased acquisition cost for a 48V vehicle is amortized through fuel savings.


China is the biggest market for EVs. Beijing is encouraging a further shift to electric cars with subsidies, CO2 targets, EV quotas and driving bans. China generates 70 percent of its power from fossil fuels, mostly coal, and will only be able to reduce this to 55percent by 2040. OEMs in China are set to introduce 48 Volt into their portfolio in the near future as a short-term solution to increase the efficiency of ICE cars.


The European market is characterised by great heterogeneity – from purchasing power and energy mix to EV market share. European OEMs are struggling particularly hard with the diesel crisis. In 2017 alone, the diesel market share dropped 8 percentage points to 43.7 percent.
Many OEMs might miss the 2021 CO2 target and face severe fines. 48V is seen as an important component in reducing fleet fuel consumption. Europe is partially dependent on China for battery production and the development of EVs appears to be progressing faster in China than in Europe.


The US has often been the driving force behind major market changes in the automotive industry – but this leadership role is in jeopardy with regard to EVs. The Trump administration plans to establish new, much less stringent CO2 targets to strengthen the US automotive industry and make driving more affordable. Start-stop is increasing in popularity despite previous skepticism from consumers. Through start-stop and the introduction of a 48V hybrid technology huge potential for CO2 savings could be realized without a strong reliance on EVs.


To decrease dependency on imports of fossil fuels and reduce the carbon intensity of power generation, the Indian government has committed to significant investments in renewable energy – by 2027 the share of renewable energy is supposed to increase to about 35 percent.
“Mobility in India will become much greener. The clean energy targets by the government and infrastructure investments will support the growth of EVs. Policy also needs to create a synergy between EVs and ICE: While stricter CO2 targets mandate more efficient ICE technologies by looking at immediate opportunities, the policy for e-mobility should enable the ramp-up of EVs together with the readiness of the supply chain. In fact, there is significant potential to reduce the carbon footprint right away by focusing on downsizing, 48V hybridization of ICE, and electrification of light vehicles such as e-scooters and e-rickshaws. The dense traffic situation in metropolitan areas also offers great savings potential for start-stop – a technology that is not yet widespread in India,” Anil Kumar said.
As a technology leader, SEG Automotive is committed to climate protection by improving fuel economy and reducing CO2 emissions from 3-wheelers, passenger cars and all kinds of commercial vehicles globally and across all drive technologies.
The company has tailored solutions for all segments in the local market: three-wheelers, passenger cars, commercial vehicles, off-highway vehicles and stationary engine applications.

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