Exhaust Measurement Exec: Death of Internal Combustion "Overstated”
Horiba Ltd. Produces Same Emissions Testing Equipment that Detected VW Cheating
The executive of a company that manufactures the same exhaust measurement equipment that detected whiffs of cheating in Volkswagen exhaust says internal combustion will never be replaced by all-electric vehicles.
Atsushi Horiba is the CEO of Horiba Ltd., a company that primarily manufactures instruments that analyze vehicle exhaust gases. Speaking to Bloomberg, Horiba says an all-electric future would require a significant investment in infrastructure that will likely never be feasible, claiming EVs would only be able to claim about a third of the new-vehicle market at max.
“Any academic who says 100 percent of cars will be electric in the future has been reading too many comic books,” said Horiba. “It’s not an issue of technology, it’s just reality.”
Horiba’s key point is a relative lack of available charging facilities. The executive suggested there’d be little reason to build a network of quick chargers in remote places like the Arizona desert, rendering electric vehicles useless in those regions.
However, with long-range electric vehicles such as the Tesla Model X and the Chevrolet Bolt hitting the market in increasing numbers, owners might not need to charge their vehicles way out in the boonies, instead juicing them up before they hit the open road and again once they arrive at their destination.
Speaking to that Arizona reference, a huge number of quick-charge, Tesla-specific Superchargers dot the landscape in that state, with most of them well within 200 miles of one another. If universal vehicle chargers followed the same path, it’d likely be relatively easy to drive across remote regions in an electric vehicle without much drama.
However, such trips in an EV would require more planning than they would in an internal-combustion vehicle. Ensuring the car is fully charged at each pit stop and planning the route (and detours) around the electric charging network would surely be more difficult than just refueling every few hours at any local service station. And the consequences of towing a trailer or running the heating or air conditioning could be direr than they would in a conventional vehicle, as those added stressors have the potential to deplete batteries more rapidly than expected.
But even with those considerations, Horiba is likely underplaying the relevance and availability of electric chargers, as more and more will surely pop up as longer-range electric vehicles become more common. Still, we agree with him when he says the EV will never completely replace internal combustion, as some jobs will still be just too remote or too challenging for a battery-powered vehicle to accomplish.