Lin Jarvis: When did the combustion engine become obsolete?

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There is controversial discussion in the auto industry as to when the production of internal combustion engines should end. In the MotoGP World Championship, the 1000 cc four-stroke engines will last at least another 5 years. And then?

While some automobile manufacturer is announcing the end of internal combustion engine production almost every week today, Audi for example for 2033, but always emphasizing that the final decision will be made by the customer because the range of electric vehicles is still insufficient, this is an issue in the motorcycle industry hushed up for the time being.

KTM CEO Stefan Pierer is convinced that e-mobility will only prevail in the two-wheeler business in the foreseeable future in the short-haul segment because the batteries are and are far too heavy for manageable motorcycles and are too demanding.

In the Energica Ego Corsa bikes from the MotoE World Cup, the batteries weigh 100 kg, but the electricity is only enough for 20 to 30 km!

In a report from December 31st, SPEEDWEEK.com discussed the question: “How long will MotoGP combustion engines be around?”

Because the Spanish marketing agency Dorna has a contract with the FIM for the commercial rights in MotoGP up to and including 2041. But no one today should be under the illusion that by then it will be possible to drive with today’s common internal combustion engines worldwide,

With the amendment to the Climate Protection Act, for example, the German government has tightened the climate protection requirements and anchored the goal of greenhouse gas neutrality by 2045. By 2030, emissions should be 65 percent lower than in 1990.

But so far the MotoGP protagonists at the meetings of the manufacturers’ association MSMA (Motorcycle Sports Manufacturers Association) have avoided sensitive topics such as climate protection, pollutant reduction and so on or switching to new drive concepts such as hybrid motors or even e-bikes like the devil holy water .

Firstly, for the last three years, the spectators have mostly run away from the noiseless demonstrations of the MotoE World Cup, and secondly, the costly development of alternative drive sources without fossil fuels is to be postponed as far into the future as possible.

Lin Jarvis, Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing and who became world rider champion with Fabio Quartararo in 2021, admits, however, that those responsible for Yamaha in Japan have been thinking about this topic for a long time.

“The six MotoGP manufacturers have just signed new five-year contracts with Dorna,” notes the Englishman. “We assume that the 1000 cc four-cylinder engines will remain more or less unchanged until the end of 2026. But we are studying the use of e-fuels, so our industry is thinking about how we can use more environmentally friendly fuels. These discussions were already held among the MSMA members with Dorna in the summer of 2021. »

“As far as combustion is concerned, the motorcycle industry is not in the same place as the automotive industry. That’s why I expect the internal combustion engines of motorcycles to be produced for longer. With two-wheelers, it’s a question of space for the batteries, weight, cost and many other reasons. That is why the number of electrified motorcycles in road traffic cannot already be compared with the number of e-cars. But that doesn’t mean that motorcycle manufacturers don’t think about climate protection. Yamaha is well aware of this problem and in the summer decided on an environmental strategy to reduce CO2 emissions by 2050. So we have a plan for the next few decades that motorcycling must also follow. But the sport is also related to the production of motorcycle production and is intended to promote our motorcycle sales. As I said, the factories talk about this topic, which is important for Dorna and important for us as a manufacturer. “

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