Ferit Küçükay:”The Transition To Electric Vehicles Will Be Slow”

Ferit Küçükay:”The Transition To Electric Vehicles Will Be Slow”

ISTANBUL – Director of the Automotive Engineering Institute in Germany, Prof. Dr. Ferit Küçükay, stated that the Automotive Engineering Conference that they held in Istanbul for the first time was very fruitful. Küçükay said that electrically driven cars will become widespread at the earliest only after 20 years. He emphasized that to make a more finite estimate is not possible due to political and economic reasons. Küçükay added that renewable energy resources would continue to be among the themes of conferences in the future.

The Automotive Engineering Conference was held at the Hilton Hotel in Istanbul on December 13-14, 2011. It had been organized by the Institute for International Research (IIR). Representatives from important establishments such as BMW, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Renault, Siemens, Hexagon, TOFAŞ, TÜBİTAK, MRC participated. Presentations were made on the topics of energy efficient and smart cars. Director of the Automotive Engineering Institute in Germany, Prof. Dr. Ferit Küçükay, undertook the task of being moderator for the conference. Following the conclusion of the two-day marathon, Küçükay answered some questions posed by Alternatif Enerji:

Mr. Küçükay, I would like to learn how you evaluate the productivity of the conference

As a result of 25 presentations made in 2 days, I think the conference went very well. Comments from the participants were quite positive.

Could you give information on the content of your next conference?

Driving dynamics and high efficiency propulsion systems will become more important in the future. Thus they will be foremost among the possible themes of future conferences. This mega theme will remain to be in the forefront in the years ahead of us. Consequently the emphasis will be less on the topics of this conference and more on the topics of which developments are necessary for safe driving and which measures must be taken outside of the car in order to produce electricity without interruption. Some friends from the energy sector will also contribute to enrich the conference. We plan to hold the second conference in Istanbul about 10 to 12 months later.

So we will be able to find subjects parallel to renewable energy in your up-coming conferences…

Definitely yes because among the measures taken to decrease carbon dioxide gas, there is the expansive research and development work carried on by the automotive industry and technology. For example from the 100 million cars that will be produced in 2020, approximately 10 million of them will be hybrid and electrical cars. Out of these 10 million cars, 20% will be electric and 80% will be hybrid cars. Consequently the automotive industry attributes great importance to the matter of renewable energy resources. We are planning to make it a theme for presentations in our conferences of 2012 and later on too.

The participants expressed that fully electric vehicles would not become widespread in the near future. What are your thoughts on this subject? Is the process proceeding as it should be?

I think that the transition from the current system to fully electric vehicles will happen throughout a long duration. If anybody claims that all cars will run with electricity in the near future, they mean to say, “I don’t know anything about this business.” Consequently, in my opinion, the changeover will take place in a minimum of 20 years or longer. Nobody can predict with certainty from today if the changeover will take place 20 years or 40 years later. The underlying reason for this ambiguity is that we do not have information on how the political or economic developments will proceed. If an energy crisis comes up in the future, such a crisis may have immediate and permanent effect on research and development work. However, in view of our current observations, development will be very slow. For this reason, we have to attribute much more importance to the sale and improvement of normal propulsion vehicles while on the other hand we must not forget electric and hybrid vehicles.

Interview: Kağan Konçak, www.alternatifenerji.com

Translation: Banu Ergüder, thisiscorrectenglish@superonline.com

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