Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Future of Mobility and challenges in Auto Sector

Keshav Ram Singhal

The Future of Mobility

Presently we use transportation by car, scooter, motor-cycle, bus, tractor, truck, rail for our mobility. The transportation history of 20th century was written in oil and we were (and still are) using transport system that run either by petrol or diesel. Oil-based mobility has contributed significantly to the threat of climate change. Oil production is peaking and decline is inevitable and there is also a need and urgency to address climate problems. Oil prices are continuously on the rise, so it is now a time for a transition to alternative transport system.

Many countries in the world are looking to other alternatives for energy and power. In Belgium, solar energy is now being harnessed to meet the power requirements of rail line. The ‘Solar Tunnel’ project incorporates 16000 solar panels on the roof of the Antwerp-Amsterdem high speed rail line railway tunnel, which is 3.4 kilometer long solar installation with a surface area of 50,000 square meters. The solar power installation serves to power the rail infrastructure, such as signaling, lighting, heating of stations etc. and also to the high speed and classical trains running on the Belgium rail network.

The clean hydrogen technology era is also coming – climate change, the depletion of fossil fuels, and the issue of energy security make it inevitable. Many developing countries, such as China, India, Malaysia, South Africa and Turkey have already developed, or developing, hydrogen programmes, and they can be expected to embrace the hydrogen economy. With the start of 2012, world’s first fleet of hydrogen 3-wheelers launched at New Delhi Auto Expo.

The emerging technologies for alternative mobility seem to be focusing on Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs), Plug-in-Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs), and Full Battery Electric Vehicles (BECs or EVs). Many organizations in the world are now manufacturing Hybrid, Plug-in and electric vehicles and this could be possible only because of emerging necessity to save energy and environment and also because of continual research and development of standards.

All over the world efforts are on to create awareness, make research and studies for energy efficiency and renewable sources. Standards have been developed and are being developed for a sustainable energy future and for a better world. The energy sector and similarly the auto sector are facing new challenges.

IEA, ISO, IEC workshop – 16-17 March 2009 in Paris

An international workshop on “International standards to promote energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions’ was organized in the joint venture of three international organizations – International Energy Agency (IEA), International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and it finalized directions for future including directions for transport sector. Its report indicates following key points related to transport sector:

- The transport sector accounts for more than a quarter of total global final energy consumption and carbon-di-oxide emissions.
- Energy efficiency improvement of transport is imperative, in particular for road vehicles, which account for nearly 90% of the total sector energy use.
- Significant improvements are needed in standards for vehicle fuel consumption tests to take into account more realistic driving conditions and different regional usage patterns.

ISO Technical Committee ISO/TC 197

ISO Technical Committee ISO/TC 197 is actively working on developing consensus-based international standards on hydrogen technologies that will facilitate the market entry of new technologies. This committee has developed and published 17 documents including international standards, technical reports, such as:

- ISO 13984:1999 – Liquid hydrogen – Land vehicle fueling system interface
- ISO 13985:2006 – Liquid hydrogen – Land vehicle fuel tanks
- ISO 14687 – 1:1999 – Hydrogen fuel – Product specification – Part 1
- ISO 14687 – 2:2008 – Hydrogen fuel – Product specification – Part 2
- ISO/PAS 15594:2004 – Airport hydrogen fueling facility operations
- ISO/TS 15869:2009 – Gaseous hydrogen and hydrogen blends – Land vehicle fuel tanks
- ISO/TR 15916:2004 – Basic considerations for the safety of hydrogen systems
- ISO 16110-1:2007 – Hydrogen generators using fuel processing technologies – Part 1: Safety
- ISO 16110-2:2010 – Hydrogen generators using fuel processing technologies – Part 2: Test methods for performance
- ISO 16111:2008 – Transportable gas storage devices – Hydrogen absorbed in reversible metal hydride
- ISO 17268: 2006 – Compressed hydrogen surface vehicle refueling connection devices
- ISO/TS 20100:2008 – Gaseous hydrogen – Fuelling stations
- ISO 22734-1:2008 – Hydrogen generators using water electrolysis process – Part 1 – Industrial and commercial applications
- ISO 22734-2:2011 – Hydrogen generators using water electrolysis process – Part 2 – Residential applications
- ISO 26142:2010 – Hydrogen detection apparatus – Stationary applications

ISO Technical committee ISO TC 22

An ISO technical committee ISO TC 22 is working on the scope covering all questions of standardization concerning compatibility, interchangeability and safety, with particular reference to terminology and test procedures (including the characteristics of instrumentation) for evaluating the performance of road vehicles of defined types and their equipment as defined in the relevant items of Article 1 of the convention on Road Traffic, Vienna in 1968 concluded under the auspices of the United Nations. ISO TC 22 has many sub-committees that are looking to the standardization work related to mopeds, motor cycles, motor vehicles, trailers, semi-trailers, light trailers, combination vehicles, and articulated vehicles. It has developed about 60 standards related to its scope.

Electric vehicles will drive down pollution

New draft standards are being developed in order to address existing and future issues related to electric vehicles. International standardization of electric vehicles is carried out by two organizations the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), as regards electrical engineers, and International Organization for Standardization (ISO), as regards car manufacturers. Standardization is the necessary tool for creating the conditions for success of electric vehicles. A sub-committee of ISO technical committee, ISO TC 22 / SC 21, is working on electrically propelled road vehicles and developed many standards related to electric road vehicles.

National Policy soon expected on Electric Vehicles in India

The electric vehicle (EV) industry at present is beset with challenges including high cost of vehicles, inappropriate battery technology, lack of infrastructure, and inadequate government support. The Union Government in India has approved a proposal to set up a ministerial body called ‘National Council for Electric Mobility’ (NCEM), aided by a National Board for Electric Mobility (NBEM) under the Department of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises. The National Automotive Board (NAB) will also be formed and it will act as the technical adviser and secretariat for both the NCEM and the NBEM. The NCEM has finalized a national policy for electric vehicles and is under consideration of the government. The government hopes to have the final policy in place by 2012.

Standards on Vehicle ID

The global automotive industry is also using a comprehensive coding system, called the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). In this connection, the coding system contained in ISO 3779:2009, Road vehicles – Vehicle identification number (VIN) – Content and structure, and ISO 3780:2009, Road vehicles – World manufacturer identifier (WMI) code, serves as a frame of reference for establishing the structure of identification numbers for manufactured vehicles. Both international standards establish, on a worldwide basis, a coding system in order to identify both the vehicle and the vehicle manufacturer.

Concluding Note

Growing aspirations of the consumers to own vehicles also will poses a challenge to the auto industry to develop new products that are friendly to environment with challenging price tags. Oil prices are continuously on the rise, so it is now a time for a transition to alternative transport system.

Courtesy Source:
- Green Energy, World Institute of Sustainable Energy, Pune, India May-June & Jul-Aug 2011
- Green Energy, World Institute of Sustainable Energy, Pune, India Sep-Oct & Nov-Dec 2011
- Making It Industry for Development, UNIDO, Austria, Sep-Dec 2011
- UNews Monthly Newsletter, UN Information Centre, New Delhi, Jan 2012
- ISO Website
- ISO Focus+, April 2011
- ISO Focus+, May 2011
- ISO Focus+, Special Issue on World Energy Congress 2007.