Electric Powertrain

The Future of Powertrain – Rise of Electric Powertrain


The automobile industry is currently undergoing a major technological transformation. Automakers around the world are heavily investing in electric vehicles to reduce emissions from gasoline and diesel vehicles. Electric powertrains are expected to replace internal combustion engines and emerge as the dominant propulsion technology in the coming decades.

Stringent Emission Regulations

Governments worldwide have enacted increasingly stringent emission regulations to curb air pollution and reduce the impact of climate change. The European Union has mandated that average emissions from new passenger cars should be 95 grams of CO2 per kilometer by 2021. Similarly, China has unveiled a plan to have electric vehicles account for 25% of all new car sales by 2025. Failing to meet these emission targets will result in heavy fines for automakers. Electric powertrains produce zero direct emissions, making them immune to such regulations. This is a major driver for automakers to invest in electrification of their lineups.

Improved Battery Technology

One of the key challenges holding back widespread adoption of Electric Powertrain has been limited driving range due to battery capacity. However, battery technology has advanced rapidly in recent years. Lithium-ion batteries are becoming cheaper, smaller, and able to store more energy. The newest electric vehicles from Tesla, Nissan and others now offer over 250 miles of range on a single charge. This is close to matching internal combustion engines’ range on a full tank. Continued progress in battery energy density and charging capabilities is making electric powertrains competitive with gas-powered ones.

Lower Operating Costs

While the upfront cost of EVs is still higher compared to gasoline cars, their lower operating costs help make up the difference over time. With electricity being cheaper than gas in most places and zero maintenance required for major components like engines and transmissions, electric vehicles cost less to fuel and maintain. Home charging also allows EV owners to effectively “refuel” their vehicle overnight at low electricity rates. Over a 5-10 year ownership period, the total cost of ownership of an electric vehicle becomes comparable or even lower than an equivalent gasoline model.

Government Incentives and Infrastructure Development

Many governments offer purchase incentives like tax credits to promote adoption of electric cars. The US federal tax credit is $7,500 per vehicle. Several states and local governments also provide additional incentives. Meanwhile, investments are being made to expand public EV charging networks. The number of fast chargers installed by companies like Tesla, EVgo, and Electrify America is growing rapidly. Governments are also encouraging installation of residential and commercial EV charging in new homes and buildings. This is crucial to address range anxiety and make electric mobility widely accessible.

Advantages over Internal Combustion Engines

Electric motors offer superior drivability compared to internal combustion engines. They provide instant torque from zero RPM for an effortless and engaging driving experience. EVs do not require fuel pumping, multi-speed transmissions or complex cooling/lubrication systems. This simplicity reduces maintenance costs and improves reliability. The lack of direct exhaust emissions also improves air quality and public health – another big driver behind the push for electrification of transportation. With time, electric powertrains are poised to become the mainstream choice as their merits over gasoline become increasingly apparent.

Challenges to Overcome

However, the transition to electric mobility also faces challenges that need to be addressed. Range anxiety persists as a psychological barrier despite improving range figures. Establishing widespread fast charging infrastructure is critical but an expensive undertaking.Battery materials like cobalt and lithium still need diversified sourcing and more eco-friendly extraction. Battery waste management is another issue as the volume of retired packs increases. High vehicle prices also deter many buyers from going electric. Automakers are working to bring costs down through economies of scale and localized production. Governments too are exploring ways to develop local supply chains and incentivize electrification.

To summarize, automakers are accelerating the pace of electrification due to increasingly strict regulations, technological improvements in batteries and drivetrains, and government policies promoting EVs. Rising oil prices and awareness about climate change are also major contributing factors in shifting consumer preferences. While upfront vehicle costs are higher presently, total savings on fuel and maintenance make EVs competitive over ownership. With battery costs declining rapidly, it is just a matter of time before electric powertrains achieve price parity with gasoline equivalents. As charging infrastructure expands and selection increases across all segments, electric vehicles will likely comprise a substantial portion of new vehicle sales within this decade. The future of mobility is electrified.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it