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Schaeffler Head of Development Gutzmer: & # 34; Need new business models & # 34;

Schaeffler
Interview with Schaeffler Head of Development Gutzmer
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How is mobility changing from the perspective of a supplier?

G utzmer: If you look at the vehicle, certainly first of all by further optimizing the combustion engine . Of course, hybridization also plays an important role in passenger cars. We rely heavily on plug-in hybrids and also the 48-volt on-board system, which helps us drive electrification in the car and realize further savings in consumption. It also helps us to reduce the costs of hybridization.

Do you believe in the success of the new drive concepts?

Gutzmer: The plug-in hybrid models are being strongly promoted through the Chinese market alone. Around 30 million cars will be produced there in 2020, ten to 15 percent of which will then have to be plug-in hybrids. This is dictated by the government's New Energy Vehicle program. So that makes around four million models with this drive concept for this market alone.

What is China doing? The CO2 problem?

Gutzmer: China has to become more independent of oil and wants to be the leader in technologies such as plug-in hybrids or Fuel cell. It is therefore promoting plug-in hybrids with a purely electric range of 50 kilometers with up to 15,000 euros. This alone will lead to significant changes. Finally, the government has also promised to maintain funding until 2020. It is very important for us to understand what is happening in this market, which is why we are also in talks with many Chinese manufacturers.

What role does electric mobility play?

Gutzmer: Here, too, the state plays an important role. It promotes the expansion of the charging infrastructure. By 2020, the global production volume of all-battery electric cars will only be around one percent, but it will increase to eight to nine percent by 2030.

Retains Does the car take its central role in the area of ​​mobility?

Gutzmer: The changes in mobility are happeningmainly in the megacities - and we definitely expect the importance of the car to decline. We assume that the biggest changes will happen in the area between bicycles and small cars. The car will evolve from the road to the bike path and the bicycle into the automobile. Let's call this completely new segment biohybrid, i.e. people plus electric drive - a concept that goes beyond the pure e-bike. It offers a roof over your head and can transport luggage, for example a kind of tricycle or modern rickshaw, with which you can continue to travel on the bike path and for which you do not need a driver's license. We are working on a corresponding three-wheeler in modular design with a roof, which may also be available as a convertible.

Do you see a global market for this?

Gutzmer: Yes, absolutely. London already has 6,000 bicycles to rent there, and Paris around 20,000. Holland has as many bicycles as there are residents. 30 million e-bikes and scooters are already sold worldwide, 80 percent of them in China. There are a total of 500 million bicycles with a population of 1.4 billion. So this is a huge market with further potential. In Manhattan, for example, the cycle path system is being massively expanded. And today's two-wheelers and e-bikes are not weatherproof and do not offer enough transport volume.

What does that mean for the auto industry?

Gutzmer: The automotive industry needs new business models. The good news is that the car market will continue to grow in the future. But the business model to the end customer will change. Cars are bought less, but more are rented. We have new players in this segment, not just Google. The question arises of who owns all the data and who makes money from it: the manufacturer or those who transport and process it, such as Telekom?

What will change through autonomous driving?

Gutzmer: I hope that this and the integration into Internet communication will bring great progress. In addition to safety, also in terms of efficiency - when the cars know, for example, where there is still parking space and thus useless searching can be prevented. Cars that can drive autonomously must also be able to respond to people's habits.

What do you mean?

Gutzmer: Cars today are shaped by algorithms (editor's note: work purely on the basis of programs). In the future, however, software will also work cognitively, i.e. be able to fall back on empirical knowledge. TheVehicle manufacturers in Japan have dealt intensively with this in the course of robot research. Brands like Honda, for example, are researching robots that will help older people in the future. These machines gain experience that they can evaluate themselves. And the car must also be able to do that in the future.

Where are the German manufacturers?

Gutzmer: I have great worries about Germany when it comes to competence in robotics, software systems or even know-how in the field of battery chemistry. We get into dependencies here that cannot be in our sense. The influence of Asian companies in general in the field of battery technology is enormous. We have to change intensively here - industry, politics and research institutions. We are too quick to discuss only possible risks and dangers, including those of an economic nature, and thereby miss opportunities. In other countries there is completely different cooperation between politics and industry.

Will there still be driving fun in the future?

Gutzmer: It is difficult to imagine a car without emotion, but it is likely that driving pleasure is increasingly taking place in leisure centers. But don't worry: the powertrains in cars will continue to be shaped by the combustion engine in the future, also in combination with the hybrids. We devised the new supporting 48-volt system as an axle drive or an additional electric drive integrated into the transmission and as an upgraded starter generator. We are now achieving outputs of up to 12 kW and hope to get to 18 kW. With recuperation and boosting alone, we achieve around 15 percent consumption savings. These savings are enormous - anyone who drives a Euro 6 car in Beijing helps ensure that the air at the rear comes out of the exhaust pipe more cleanly than it entered the combustion engine.

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