Text: Eric Tipan / Photos: www.autonews.com | posted May 27, 2014 07:59
A 1 billion yen project involving the industry, government.
Eight of the top automakers in Japan have come together in an effort to make better, more fuel-efficient powertrains for vehicles of the future.
This newly-formed consortium, called Research Association of Automotive Internal Combustion Engines (AICE), is setting the bar really high with a target of 30 percent improvement in the use of fuel of traditional gasoline and diesel engines by the year 2020.
A project of this magnitude does not come cheap. Ringing in at 1 billion yen ($9.9 million), AICE – composed of Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co., Honda Motor Co., Mazda Motor Corp., Mitsubishi Motors Corp., Daihatsu Motor Co., Suzuki Motor Corp. and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. - will need all the help it can get and the Japanese government is coming to the rescue.
The member companies will begin by conducting research to determine the factors that make a better internal combustion engine and then divvy up the costs up between them before sharing the technology amongst the member companies.
This move is an acknowledgement that internal combustion engines will still play a major role in automobile production despite advancements in electric and hybrid drivetrain technology, which is key to continue selling cost-effective vehicles to the third world market.