Green initiatives for transportation and industry
The race to produce the world’s first commercially-viable electric vehicle, which responsibility rests upon the current generation, has sparked significant interest worldwide as an estimated 20 percent of CO2 emissions are produced by public and commercial vehicles. It is a clear technological challenge that demands a firm response in order to curb the onset of climate change.
Perhaps a cinematic glimpse into the future holds the key? Since the introduction of motion pictures, film producers have romanticized the concept of the flying car. From space oddities and popular sci-fi flicks of the 1960s, to Back to the Future’s time-traveling DeLorean – movie-goers the world over marveled at the sensational flying automobile. Director Robert Zemeckis even included an on-board device called “Mr. Fusion” in the BTTF sequel, which converts solid waste into spontaneous energy for the flying DeLorean. Even George Jetson’s flying craft doesn’t seem to need refueling; thus, Hanna-Barbera’s alludes to “cold fusion” and a carbon-free society.
With a growing vehicle population the world over, it is now a matter of time that technology should find a solution to address the equally growing demand for energy and fossil fuels. This is the challenge that Bosch faces up to.
Cleaner combustion engines
While the company is presently engaged in developing lithium ion batteries for automotive applications – and as it estimates over 500 thousand electric vehicles sold worldwide by 2015 – it remains focused on increasing the efficiency of the internal-combustion engine, which will remain the dominant technology over the next 20 years. And by no small measure, Bosch Clean Diesel has enabled vehicle manufacturers to meet even more stringent emission standards from developed countries.
In 2009, the city of Makati rolled out e-jeeps on its streets, which is a move meant to address the problem of emissions – and clearly, a bold statement for the country to embrace the concept of “going green.” But what about the thousands of other jeepneys plying the country’s thoroughfares? What about the trucks that transport goods to and from the market place?
“Our challenge is to ensure a sustainable mobility,” according to Klaus Landhaeusser, External Affairs Manager of Bosch Diesel Systems in Singapore. “This means that while we improve mobility, we should also reduce the local and global environmental impacts that come with mobility such as global warming and CO2 emissions.”
Diesels on Philippine roads
There are currently more than six (6) million registered vehicles in the country among which some two (2) million run on diesel engines. Bosch estimates that 65 percent of the country’s diesel vehicles run on Bosch diesel components. While testament to the company’s expertise in the fields of internal combustion, engine management and exhaust-gas treatment, statistics also underline the company’s responsibility to ensure that these engines run well.
“As both economic and social sustainability criteria need to be met, the Bosch Group is working on future automotive solutions that are environmentally sustainable,” says Landhaeusser who has over 10 years of collective experience in automotive research, vehicle diagnostics and diesel systems.
While climate change risks grow, it is critical for governments to take decisive action in ensuring the quality of air that its people would breathe. The Philippine Government, for instance, has enacted the Clean Air Act into law - a landmark legislation to put in place a comprehensive air quality management policy and program for the Philippines.
But the Clean Air Law – while realizing improvements in the country’s air quality - has yet to fully address a significant source of the air pollution problem: the transportation sector, whose usage of fossil fuels brings about the pollutants that cause health problems. As new and cleaner technologies are found to be effective, it is important for governments to find ways to use these to ensure air quality.
Benefits of Diesel
Bosch has further established its competence in energy efficiency when it introduced the first Commonrail Diesel Injectors that provide cleaner and more efficient combustion to a car’s fuel. Since then, Bosch has produced more than 33 million commonrail systems. The company also developed the Piezo – high-pressure injectors that brought the first-ever victory for a diesel-powered car in the history of LeMans.
Contrary to public perception, the latest diesel engines are cleaner and consume some 30 percent less fuel than the equivalent generation of gasoline direct injection engines. Bosch engineers anticipate a further 10 percent reduction by 2012.
According to studies by the ADAC, the German automobile association, at an annual mileage of 20,000 kilometers in Europe (10,000 kilometers for the Philippines), 89 percent of diesel-powered vehicles are more economical than their gasoline equivalents. It is therefore important for Filipino motorists to invest in quality car parts and observe proper vehicle service intervals, most especially for commercial vehicles.
Crediting the lower fuel consumption of diesel engines, this translates into an estimated 25 percent less CO2 emitted compared to traditional gasoline engines. Benchmarking the EU’s target for CO2 emissions (130 g/km CO2 by 2015), vehicle manufacturers will only be able to achieve this if diesel-powered cars maintain – or even increase – their current share of around 50 percent of all newly registered cars in the EU.
In the Philippines, Bosch provides some of the cleanest technologies available for local vehicles. The local subsidiary Robert Bosch Inc. fostered a technical partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), which runs certificate courses for auto mechanics and educates them on the use of cleaner technologies. This technical partnership aims to benefit the Philippine transportation sector and the general motoring public.
The high demand for e-commerce applications in the airlines industry is contributing to the growth of the Philippine operations of Sabre Holdings, its top official in the country said.
In a recent interview with the BusinessMirror, Sabre Philippines general manager Ritu Krishna said the move by airlines in Asia to boost their e-commerce functions and capabilities have given more job requirements to the affiliate of the Southlake, Texas-based company. “In recent periods, the airline community has sold more directly to the end travelers, which has triggered historical demand for Sabre’s e-commerce solutions and support service,” she said.
“The country’s own vibrant aviation market also gives good reason for Sabre to be here. Both value-focused carriers and network carriers are potential business partners for Sabre,” she added.
She said Sabre chose Manila as its regional base because the country has a substantial pool of quality manpower. With a high literacy of over 94 percent, Krishna said the company can maximize the highly talented manpower for the development of its e-commerce solutions.
Furthermore, Krishna said the country’s strategic business location was the other factor why the country was chosen as the regional office in the region. “Sabre has many customers in this region and it’s important to have resources close by to provide the best customer service,” she said.
In December last year, Sabre Holdings acquired UK-based EB2, a leading supplier of world-class e-commerce software products, solutions, infrastructure and services to global airlines. Upon its acquisition, EB2’s operations in Manila was renamed Sabre Philippines. Part of the attraction of acquiring of EB2 was the development center here in Manila.
“We saw this as an important opportunity in this region,” she said.
Sabre Philippines is primarily tasked with the development, customization, hosting and support of Sabre Airline Solutions’ e-commerce solutions for airlines.