Automotive Engineering - April 2021 - 27

POWERTRAIN SUPPLIER INSIGHTS

ICE: once more, with feeling
BorgWarner CSO sees at least one more generation of the ICE before its 'sunset.'
by Bill Visnic

F

BOTH IMAGES: BORGWARNER

ollowing its 2020 acquisition of Delphi Technologies,
BorgWarner now has a vast portfolio of internal-combustion
engine (ICE) foundation components, everything from fueland air-handling systems to ignition and boosting and powertrain controllers. It's a multinational supplier with massive ICE " exposure. " Yet VP and chief strategy officer Paul Farrell is facing the rush of
" death of ICE " developments with a palpable equanimity.
It's the calm of an engineer who knows with certainty that little in
automotive changes overnight. Despite the brassy headlines and
15-years-from-now promises, there will be a protracted transition
from ICE to electric vehicle (EV). Better still, Farrell said, is the confidence that BorgWarner's business is built to navigate the evolution,
regardless of the twists it takes.
The pace of the transition, he admits, will be difficult to project,
but he expects no substantial reactions from the ICE universe will be
required until the latter part of the decade.
" There's clearly a lot of regulatory pressures that would drive towards much higher levels of electrification in the back end of the decade. I think that that part of it is pretty clear. On a global basis, I
don't think we expect the 'death' of the IC engine at the end of the
decade, " Farrell said in an interview with Automotive Engineering.
" From that perspective, is there increasing amounts of EVs? Yes, for
sure. I guess right now, if we looked at it, we will come to different
answers. Nobody's crystal ball is perfect, but we might say it's [EV
production] 20 percent, could be as high as 30 percent. And obviously that varies a lot geographically. "
But because of the global-regulatory-market matrix complexity of
it all, OEMs and their suppliers will have to be adaptable in terms of
committing to the long-timeline investments typical of ICE propulsion, he projected. " If we think the demand and the volumes are
there, we'll continue to make the investments, " Farrell said. " But at
some level, I think the OEMs also have the similar challenge of how to
apply their resources. "

The eTurbo electrically assisted
turbocharger is one example of
fusing internal combustion with
elements of electrification.
AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERING

BorgWarner
vice president and chief
strategy officer Paul Farrell.
Farrell said the diesel engine's days clearly are coming to a close and gasoline fueling will carry the ICE
into the uncertain near to midterm. " You'll see a shift
to gas and frankly, that movie's already played out a
lot. There's probably that one last gen [eration of gasoline engine design]. As we look towards the middle
of the decade - which from an engineering perspective really is now - there's probably one more turn on
the gasoline engines " optimized with technologies
such as high-pressure GDI, variable-geometry turbochargers, and cooled EGR.
Most of the significant ICE improvements and enhancements going forward will come more by " add-ons
on the electrification side, " that underlay the gradual
evolution to full-electric propulsion, Farrell noted. " If
you think about it meeting the challenges, you've got
this base engine - and then you're solving those added challenges that you're calling out by hybridization
around it.
" It becomes less about the technology specifically
around the ICE engine and more about how you enhance it from an electrification perspective to beat
those next bars of regulations. You could think of hybridization at some level as a transitional technology,
and then you've got [more discrete electrification]
coming in over time. "
April 2021 27



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