Together toward 54.5 mpg
In 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama announced that by 2025, fleet consumption in the U.S. is to be reduced to 54.5 mpg. This equals a consumption level of 4.31 liters per 100 kilometers. The contribution that transmission technology can make to this target was discussed at the 8th International CTI Symposium on May 14 and 15, 2014 in Rochester. One of the issues under debate was the expectations of American drivers and changes in social parameters, which might require new approaches. This year saw only few proponents of the pure electric car; better chances were attributed to mild hybrids as well as, in the long run, plug-in hybrids for urban scenarios. While diesel engines for cars were no major issue, gasoline engines were still seen as offering major savings potential. As for transmission development, there was agreement despite differences in approaches. The requirements concerning efficiency and flexibility of the transmissions will continue to increase, but this must not happen at the expense of comfort.
As chairman of the symposium, Ernie J. DeVincent, Vice President Product Development of Getrag, welcomed 420 international attendants – an increase of 50 compared to 2013. A total of 72 percent were from North America, 21 percent had arrived from Europe, and 7 percent from Asia Pacific. The plenary addresses on days one and two focused on the effort to achieve 54.5 mpg, looking at the issue from a variety of angles – ranging from those of the regulatory agencies to automobile associations and all the way to representatives of OEMs, suppliers, and development service providers as well as market researchers. Another interesting approach was to take a look at spending behavior from a psychological and sociological point of view. The diverse interdisciplinary discussion demonstrated the complex challenges that transmission developers are facing.