Saudi Aramco believes internal combustion engines are here for a “long, long time”

Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil company, believes internal combustion vehicles are here to stay for a “long, long time,” even as the global auto industry is shifting to electric vehicles, advancing said the Financial Times this Tuesday.

The Saudi state giant, which generated 500 billion dollars (462 billion euros at current exchange rates) in revenue last year, mainly from the sale of crude oil, acquired a 10% stake in value of 740 billion euros, at Horse Powertrain, a company focused on the development of combustion engines.

“It will be incredibly expensive for the world to completely eliminate or do without internal combustion engines,” Yasser Mufti, executive vice president of Aramco, told the FT. Mufti believes that internal combustion vehicles will persist into the future, with the oil company projecting that more than half of all vehicles will continue to use some form of fuel by 2050.

Despite major commitments made by political institutions and some car manufacturers to end sales of new vehicles with internal combustion engines by 2035 or 2040, the transition to electric vehicles has not been as quick as expected. The slowdown in sales of electric vehicles and the increase in commercial protectionism extended the deadline for internal combustion vehicles.

“60% of the population will continue to have some type of engine, whether it be a pure ICE, a full hybrid or a plug-in hybrid”, explained Matias Giannini, president of Horse Powertrain, to the FT.

The prospects for vehicles with internal combustion engines represent an opportunity for Horse Powertrain to consolidate production, having already secured commercial agreements and negotiated the supply of engines with several car manufacturers. The company, a partnership between Geely and Renault, aims to increase production from 3.2 million to five million units per year, positioning itself alongside industry giants.

Saudi Aramco is also strengthening its global network of service stations, expanding into developing markets, as these regions are expected to maintain strong demand for gasoline and diesel cars. In addition, Saudi Aramco is investing in research laboratories to develop synthetic and low-carbon fuels.

Saudi Aramco’s acquisition of North American lubricants brand Valvoline for €2.4 billion last year aligns with its broader strategy, as all engines produced by Horse Powertrain will use Valvoline products in their initial supply. Yasser Mufti stated that significant improvements in combustion engine technology could make internal combustion engine vehicles competitive with electric ones, both in terms of cost and sustainability.


Francesco Giganti

Journalist, social media, blogger and pop culture obsessive in newshubpro

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