Is it All Over for The Internal Combustion Engine?

Auto Futures – an award-winning, international digital content hub dedicated to the future of mobility – held its second live event in central London on Tuesday 29th October. The event brought together journalists, leading brands and industry professionals, including an inspiring panel. 
The discussion and Q&A session featured a thought-provoking discussion, including policy-making, the air quality crisis, infrastructure and, of course, which fuel will rule. From hydrogen and battery electric vehicles to synthetic fuels and the internal combustion engine, our panel and audience explored the pros and cons of each propulsion.
It was moderated by BBC radio presenter, Rachel Burden. She started by revealing the results of a Twitter poll – conducted by Auto Futures – which asked for votes on which fuel will rule by 2030. Over 3,500 people voted. 42% voted for electric; 23% for hydrogen; 20% voted for solar power and 16% for petrol.
Kicking off the debate, Helen Lees, Head of Electric Vehicles and Connected Services, Groupe PSA, stated: “Our timeline in terms of products starts now. Every single car that any of our brands ever launches now will have a plug-in hybrid or full electric version from launch, alongside the traditional petrol or diesel variants.”
Prof. Ricardo F. Martinez-Botas, Professor of Turbomachinery Imperial College London added: “The social acceptability has to be earned. It will not be imposed. It has to be earned by the technology, by the battery development and by the infrastructure availability.”
“You could say dinosaurs weren’t replaced by better dinosaurs. It came from a completely different direction. That’s why we place such emphasis on the changing business model as well as the technology,” said Hugo Spowers, the  Founder & Company Architect, Riversimple.
Dominic Phinn, Business Lead, Clean Air, ClientEarth, noted: “There are a number of trends at play; electrification of vehicles but also shared mobility, car clubs and also micro-mobility which are all going to go a long way towards to tackling air pollution. So there’s a mosaic of solutions out there.”
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