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12th International Engine Congress 2025

25-02-2025 – 26-02-2025 – Baden-Baden or virtually via live stream

Engine Congress 2024

11th International Engine Congress 2024

Meeting Place for the Powertrain and Sustainable Fuels Community

27-02-2022 – 28-02-2024 – Baden-Baden or via live stream

PC – CV – Fuels

Main topics

  • Carbon-neutral IC engines from a global perspective
  • CO2 recycling as a key topic for reFuels
  • Further development potentials for the IC engine
  • Hydrogen and other sustainable energy sources
  • Legal and technological differences in the markets

Panel discussion: No climate protection without IC engines!


Dr. Holger Becker
Member of the German Parliament

Michael Fleiss

Dr. Monika Griefahn
eFuel Alliance e. V.

Benjamin Krieger
CLEPA – European Association of Automotive Suppliers

Takahiro Nagai
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)

Dr. Markus Schwaderlapp

Top Speakers

Jonathan Atkinson
Cummins Inc., United Kingdom

Dina Bacovsky
BEST – Bioenergy and Sustainable Technologies GmbH, Austria

Michael Fleiss
Aurobay, Sweden

Prof. Dr. Uwe Dieter Grebe
AVL List GmbH, Austria

Dr. Monika Griefahn
eFuel Alliance e. V., Germany

Thorsten Herdan
HIF EMEA GmbH, Germany

Benjamin Krieger
CLEPA, Belgium

Dr. Markus Münz & 
Dr. Magnus Schmitt

VDMA e. V., Germany

Takahiro Nagai
National Research and Development Agency / New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Japan

Benoit Poulet
Shell Global Solutions (Deutschland) GmbH, Germany

Prof. Dr. Peter Schöggl
AVL List GmbH, Austria

Dr. Markus Schwaderlapp
DEUTZ AG, Germany

Downloadable events program 2024

News from the 11th International Engine Congress in Baden-Baden, Germany

Authors: Dr. Alexander Heintzel, Marc Ziegler

Combustion Engines for Climate Protection

The 11th edition of the International Engine Congress takes place in Baden-Baden on February 27 and 28, 2024. With 280 participants on site and a further 50 who have joined online.

In his welcoming address, Scientific Director of the Congress and Editor-in-Charge Prof. Peter Gutzmer once again emphasized the urgent need for technology-open development and referred to the ongoing negotiations at European level. Gutzmer emphasized the global relevance of the combustion engine and its role in effective climate protection. He also pointed out that consumers are not prepared to follow the path towards fully electric vehicles. "No technology has ever prevailed due to coercion," said Gutzmer.

In his keynote speech, Prof. Dieter Grebe, Managing Director of AVL List, gave an outlook on the role of the combustion engine in the global energy mix. In his opinion, the almost linear increase in man-made CO2 emissions over the past 60 years cannot be reversed without measures such as carbon capture. The global fleet of existing vehicles also urgently needs to be considered and upgraded. The use of E20 alone could reduce CO2 emissions by 10 % by 2030. Hydrogen carriers for transportation should ideally require energy for production at the production site and not at the place of use in order to keep the overall footprint as small as possible. Molecular energy storage systems are needed to represent the energy industry, which means that methanol and synthetic fuels are automatically available. Due to CO2 legislation and in the long term, BEVs and FCEVs are the right way to go, according to Grebe, but the proportion of biogenic fuels in the existing fleet needs to be increased quickly. From a global perspective, the European technology path taken with a sole focus on BEVs is very isolated. Japan is proving to be the antipode here with a clearly technology-open assessment of all possible drive technologies.

Japan Relies on Systemic Solutions

Takahiro Nagai, Deputy Director of NEDO in Japan, picked up the ball directly and presented what he described as Japan's realistic path towards a carbon-neutral society. NEDO serves as an advisory organization for the government. It is focusing on a strong diversification of measures, including the development of a hydrogen infrastructure. Production of synthetic fuels is also to be established by 2028. The aim is to reduce CO2 emissions from HEV and HD diesel drives by 55 %. Emissions from combustion engines must be reduced with technical progress and synthetic fuels, while at the same time achieving a breakthrough in electric vehicles.

Dr. Monika Griefahn, CEO of the eFuel Alliance, pointed out that e-mobility is an important factor, but cannot be used everywhere. The total global fleet of 1.3 to 1.4 billion vehicles must be operated in a more climate-friendly way: "Every liter of e-fuel is a direct contribution to climate protection." This must be implemented quickly in order to achieve significant economies of scale. Legislation is the sticking point, as the tank-to-wheel debate is still ongoing. "We hope that the new Commission will immediately reopen the discussion on a cradle-to-cradle approach."

At the end of the first session, Thorsten Herdan, CEO of HIF EMEA, described the change in the business model of a synthetic fuel production plant compared to the current models. The return on investment is in the region of 15 years. Haru-Oni is also important as a pilot plant, despite the enormous investment of 80 million euros, in order to gain experience and identify errors in the construction before scaling up. Herdan assumes that there will have to be a CO2 infrastructure in addition to carbon capture. HIF is currently building further plants in Uruguay, the USA and Chile. Methanol as a platform fuel can be shipped and refined at the point of use. "All products from this are renewable," says Herdan, "but the end product should be produced locally to ensure security of supply from different regions."

News and articles about related topics


Author: Thomas Schneider

The Dogmatic Path to E-mobility Shifts the Problem

How can CO2 emissions be reduced in the transport and energy sectors? What is important now was the topic of the panel discussion at the 11th International Engine Congress.

"No climate protection without the combustion engine!" In principle, all of the panellists agreed with the provocative title of the panel discussion, which stated that effective climate protection is only possible by including combustion engines and not by banning them. 

"The push in Europe to move dogmatically towards electromobility is only shifting the CO2 problem," said Michael Fleiss, CEO of Aurobay, for example. This is because the necessary energy has to be provided one way or another, and if there is a shortage of renewable energy, this is done using fossil fuels. Therefore, the climate friendliness of vehicles cannot and must not simply be measured by the exhaust pipe. "It is important that we defossilize, not decarbonize," emphasized Professor Dr. Christian Beidl, who chaired the discussion together with Editor-in-Chief ATZ | MTZ Dr. Alexander Heintzel.

E-mobility Needs to Grow Organically

According to Takahiro Nagai, Deputy Director of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), an abrupt switch from combustion engines to electric drives is not expedient, as they cannot cover all applications. In his opinion, both technologies must therefore be developed in parallel and in an evolutionary manner. Especially as battery electric vehicles are not yet advantageous due to the electricity mix and the energy-intensive production of the batteries, Michael Fleiss notes: "The CO2 rucksack is currently greater than the savings in the usage phase." 

According to Dr. Markus Schwaderlapp, Head of Research & Development at Deutz AG, the challenge of intermediate energy storage is underestimated by politicians. The assumption that the use of electrical energy is always more efficient is wrong when you consider the need for intermediate storage and the more efficient production of renewable energy in other parts of the world. Furthermore, according to Dr. Monika Griefahn, CEO of the eFuel Alliance, batteries are not yet designed for reusability and recycling. A key aspect is to include the approximately 1.3 billion existing vehicles worldwide.

Doing One Thing Without Neglecting the Other

The transport and energy transition must therefore be based on two pillars: Electromobility and renewably generated molecular energy sources, according to Professor Beidl. How can development be accelerated? According to Griefahn, a look at Japan can help. There, the goal of reducing CO2 is paramount, and anything that contributes to this is good. A pragmatic approach is therefore necessary. "By making a unilateral decision, Europe is turning itself into a museum." Incidentally, this applies not only to the automotive industry, but also to mechanical engineering. "We have to do both, it's not an either-or decision." The usual path is therefore "that both technologies compete and either one wins or both continue to exist in parallel," adds Fleiss.

"It is not surprising that many good developments are currently coming from China and not from Europe," says Benjamin Krieger, Secretary General of the European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA). The European players lack perspective due to the planned ban on combustion engines. He is therefore calling for a target without a technology specification. However, we must also question ourselves in terms of competitiveness and provide solutions that customers really need.

Molecular Memory Urgently Needed

Dr. Holger Becker, Member of the German Bundestag and member of the parliamentary group "Regenerative Fuels", also sees the need for regeneratively produced fuels. "Of course we need molecular storage systems, that is undisputed, as e-mobility is not suitable for some applications." However, the question is in which area they should be used. He does not believe that the trend towards electrification in the passenger car sector can be stopped. There is also a fear among political players that electrification in the transport sector will suffer from the widespread use of renewable fuels, as this could lead to a diffusion of investments that cannot be afforded. 

However, this fear is unfounded in the eyes of the other participants. The investments in electrification have long since been made and the companies are dependent on bringing the new products to customers in the future. 

The essence is therefore "that we ultimately need all available sustainable energy sources in order to make transport and energy generation more climate-friendly in the future," summarizes Alexander Heintzel. "To achieve this, everyone involved must pull together, because only a systemic approach based on social consensus will ultimately lead to success. If we don't think in cycles - cradle-to-cradle - and politicians don't understand this, we are doomed to failure, and that would be a shame."

News and articles about related topics

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