Increasing shortage on energy resources as well as future emission legislation development increase the pressure to develop more efficient, environmentally friendly propulsion systems for vehicles. This requires a further development of current diesel and gasoline engines as well as a careful look to alternatives like fuel cell systems or hybrid propulsion systems. This paper gives a survey about the current status and future developments of internal combustion engines (ICE), as well as some alternatives. A special focus will be on the impact on catalyst development which is in the topic of this conference.
The ICE will dominate for vehicle propulsion in the next decades, but will undergo further development. In particular the shift to diesel engines and lean, turbocharged SI-engines will require a continuous development of aftertreatment systems, primarily for Particulates and NOx. From the alternative fuels natural gas will be the first to play a significant role. The fuel cell will probably have the chance to enter the market only as an auxiliary power unit.