Special Coverage

SAE World Congress

DETROIT – Enhancing today’s powertrain technology provides the best opportunity to provide significant improvements in fuel economy and reductions in carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions, says Ernie DeVincent, vice president-powertrain at Getrag Transmissions Corp., which specializes in dual-clutch transmissions.

The benefits of today’s advanced powertrains also represent a key-selling feature for dealerships today, he tells attendees at a powertrain panel held at the SAE World Congress here.

“Tackling powertrain technology to gain fuel economy is a significant contribution and will provide the biggest bang for the buck,” agrees Hamid Vahabzadeh, General Motors Corp.’s director-advanced power transfer, GM Powertrain.

Fuel-economy gains from powertrain technology can be as much as 11%, much greater than other vehicle systems, Vahabzadeh says.

Meanwhile, reductions in CO2 emissions could equal 30% by 2010 using technology in development today, Heribert Scherer, ZF Getriebe GmbH’s senior manager-design, car transmission division, says, noting that number could reach 60% in several years.

But the automotive industry has to do more than just develop and apply the best powertrain technology to vehicles today, says DeVincent. “We also have to market the resultant fuel-economy value. Then we can make a difference.”

Effectively marketing these advancements to today’s savvy consumers can influence their buying decisions, he adds.

cbanks@wardsauto.com