There is life “Zero emissions”, or there may be, beyond the electric and fuel cell. Technological neutrality has been the main topic of debate in the round table promoted by Bosch under the title “Technological neutrality for sustainable mobility, the reality of the different propulsion technologies”. This term is what the company uses to encompass the different propulsion technologies that exist to deal with the problems posed by increased emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
The conference, moderated by the journalist Carlos García Hirschfeld, has been led by representatives of some of the main actors in the field of mobility at national and international level – Bosch, Repsol, Hyundai and BeePlanet Factory -, as well as, by one of the main scientific disseminators of our country, Javier Santaolalla. The meeting aimed to demonstrate that technological neutrality is the most appropriate approach to achieve the European Commission’s objective of decarbonising the European mobility system by 2050.
Bosch is committed to a mix of propulsions and, therefore, to the use of different fuels and energies in response to different individual mobility needs. During his speech, Ricardo Olalla, Vice President of Sales Mobility Solutions of Bosch for Spain and Portugal, highlighted that “from Bosch we are committed to reducing emissions to zero in all technologies. In fact, our facilities around the world are already carbon neutral. In the field of mobility, we observe that we are going to need more and more energy and, therefore, we will face technological changes and new solutions that will require implementation time from an economic point of view, as well as from a technical perspective. industrial. In this sense, to meet the 2050 objectives, it will be necessary for the reduction of emissions to occur day by day ”. Likewise, he pointed out that “the internal combustion engine is still currently the central axis of mobility throughout the world. It continues to be a leading player and, for this reason, we continue to invest to reduce its emissions, which we estimate at an additional 15% ”.
It is estimated that 67% of all new vehicles to be sold in 2030 will still have a combustion engine, with or without hybridization. For this reason, synthetic fuels, or eFuels, stand as an alternative for these vehicles to be neutral in carbon emissions. In addition, eFuels are very important when analyzing that, currently, there are more than 1.3 billion vehicles with combustion engines in use worldwide, a figure that shows that the replacement of the entire world fleet by another type of propulsion will take decades. . In this sense, Javier Aríztegui, responsible for energy products at Repsol Technology Lab, assured that “at Repsol we are working on different alternatives such as electricity, hydrogen and synthetic fuels that are obtained through green hydrogen and CO2 from the atmosphere. The process of transition to technological neutrality is going to take us some time, but our goal is to make it happen as soon as possible ”.
Car manufacturers will also be critical to achieving sustainable mobility. In the case of Hyundai, which has already launched a hydrogen car on the market, Javier Arboleda, technical manager of the brand, has ensured that hydrogen is a historic opportunity. “We have five electrification solutions, since each client has their needs and they are compatible, not exclusive. Combustion vehicles, supported by the various hybridisations that we offer, have a lot to say in the coming years. As for pure electric, we add our hydrogen cell to the batteries. It will be the best option for a significant part of customers as soon as an initial network of hydrogenerators is available, due to its unbeatable charging times and great autonomy. Hydrogen goes far beyond the automotive industry, it is a great opportunity for Spain and it will even allow us to export renewable energy ”. Furthermore, in this sense, Bosch foresees that, by 2030, up to 20% of all new electric vehicles will have a fuel cell, especially in relation to large heavy trucks dedicated to long-distance freight transport.
The meeting also had the participation of Jon Asín, CEO of BeePlanet Factory, a start-up that is dedicated to the reuse of batteries removed from electric cars, who wanted to share with the audience his opinion regarding the electrification of propulsion. According to Asín, this is not the only possible solution to achieve a zero carbon footprint: “it is essential to consider the global impact of each propulsion technology throughout its life cycle, from the extraction of raw materials to their reuse or second life and final recycling ”.
The panel of experts was completed with the scientific communicator Javier Santaolalla, who assured that there is great potential in the approach of technological neutrality, but, at the same time, a lack of awareness on the part of society in general. “Our world needs an urgent change. First, there has been a change in mentality, being aware of the damage we can do to the planet by putting the existence of our species and any form of life at risk. This has continued with a technological change in which science has put itself at the service of humanity responding to this enormous challenge, possibly the greatest of our generation. These new technologies are taking the baton, assuming the role that corresponds to them and are the precise and immediate response that humanity needs. We have time to change and the industry has to lead this change ”, assured Santaolalla.
The need to include different propulsion technologies according to mobility needs has been the main conclusion of the participants in the meeting that has debated the need for the commitment of the different agents of society to achieve, through technological neutrality, reduce the CO2 emissions, protect the environment and improve people’s lives.