Few days ago, Akio Toyoda, CEO de Toyota Motors and grandson of its founder, gave a controversial speech at the annual meeting of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA), noting with great concern that “Some politicians are saying that we have to convert all cars to electric vehicles or the manufacturing industry is outdated. This means that production of more than 8 million units would be lost and the automotive industry could be at risk of lose the majority of 5.5 million jobs. They say that internal combustion engines are the enemy. To achieve carbon neutrality, the enemy is carbon dioxide, not internal combustion ”.
Those comments from the most important person in the world’s largest automaker received strong criticism, especially from environmental sectors, who accused Toyoda of worrying only about their numbers not dropping and of take care of your company over global interests those affected by the automotive industry.
But Toyoda is not the only one who thinks something like that. In an interview with Automotive News Europe, the BMW Development Manager Frank Weber, said the transition to electric vehicles will not happen overnight. And what’s up several questions to be answered yet: “When will the system be ready to absorb all those battery electric vehicles? This is about renewable electric power generation and infrastructure. Are the people ready? Is the system ready? Is the charging infrastructure ready? “.
And he quickly mentioned his concern about the jobs of so many operators working on powertrain development and manufacturing, because it is not only about internal combustion engines, but also about gearboxes and transmission systems, which with electric cars will disappear. And beyond how many jobs can be converted, there is also the time of training for those workers, in a completely new technology that they must learn.
But Weber remembers that it is still pending application of the new engine standard Euro7 that should enter effective in 2026. And according to the BMW manager, “It will be the last major investment in gasoline and diesel engines. Money invested in R&D (Research and Development) to meet the strictest emissions regulations it will ensure the short-term future of ICE, specifically until the end of the decade at least ”.
Weber expands on his idea by pointing out that BMW does not want to withdraw from the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) market too soon and consequently forcing people to buy electric vehicles, because the infrastructure for recharging is far to be able to support the widespread adoption of electric cars.
It is no coincidence that two voices that are raised alerting a possible error in only pointing to electric cars as the future of sustainable mobility, it is precisely the representatives of the two automotive companies that They place great importance on the mobility from hydrogen. So much Toyota What BMW are the most involved in these developments, so much so that the hydrogen to be stored for fuel cells, how to be injected directly into an internal combustion engine.
Just three months ago, the Argentine physicist Juan Carlos Bolcich, creator of the first direct hydrogen car in Argentina, left a sentence to remember in his exclusive interview with Infobae, when saying that “Electric cars will not completely replace combustion cars, because the highways that electricity travels will not give enough response. Those engines they may be electric through a hydrogen fuel cell, but there will be a waste that is the battery. Instead, direct injection hydrogen will allow to maintain combustion engines, only that the gas that burns will be hydrogen and what will come out through the exhaust pipe will be water vapor “.
BMW is investing in fuel cells because one of the hydrogen problems gas for direct injection is in the process of filling hydrogen tanks. Nevertheless, bet on that technology I could not only keep the current internal combustion engines in a “Clean running”, but avoid saturation of the “electricity highways” pointed out by the Argentine scientist, thanks to the use of a clean and infinite energy such as wind and photovoltaic, and keep the sources of work for millions of people, not only of the industry itself, but of the annexes, such as the auto parts manufacturers and the mechanical workshop.
Without a doubt it is a time of profound changes, which are necessary for the most precious good, life and planet in which humanity lives, but also that must be done in the correct direction and speed, so that the remedy is not worse than the disease.