E-mobility in the Automotive Industry

From many perspectives, e-mobility is an excellent initiative for the automotive industry, but none perhaps more so than for environmental reasons. The industry has long been unpopular with the general public for its fossil fuel usage and there has been a clamour globally for the introduction of greener, more environmentally friendly energy sources. The automotive industry is responding though and here we explore e-mobility in the automotive industry.

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Electric cars are not new, but they are the future

Electric vehicles are not new

Historically electric cars were produced prior to internal combustion engine (ICE) cars. Mass production by Ford Motor Company and other manufacturers led to ICE becoming the “norm”, but electric car technology has existed for 150+ years.

Forever it seems that electric vehicles were classed as “the vehicle of the future”, but the time for large-scale usage is now. Factors such as the threat of dwindling fossil fuel supplies and environmental concerns have led to governments and international organisations mandating the escalation of electric vehicle infrastructure worldwide.

Forecast growth of electric vehicles

According to a survey commissioned by the International Copper Association and published by Reuters:

  • Electric vehicles (all electric cars, hybrid cars (HEV and PHEV) and buses) worldwide are expected to grow from 3 million in 2017 to 27 million by 2027
  • Analysts are predicting that by 2040 more electric cars will be produced worldwide than there will be petrol or diesel
  • Coronavirus pandemic impact – the COVID-19 pandemic, unfortunately, will impact the expected growth of the electric vehicles market. 2020 global car sales are expected to fall by 22%. All manufacturers have been hit by reduced new vehicle demand, plant closures and social distancing legislation. This ultimately will impact revenue, which in turn is likely to lead to reduced levels of R&D investment, which will impact the speed with which e-vehicles can be developed
A view under the bonnet of a Toyota Prius hybrid electric car

A view under the bonnet of a Toyota Prius hybrid electric car

Encouraging participation in electric vehicle adoption

Various partners are encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles, some specific examples include:

  • Electric vehicle manufacturers:
    • Back in 2016, Nissan offered a free home charge unit for new Nissan Leaf buyers
    • In July 2017, Volvo issued a Press Releaseannouncing that by 2019 they would only sell car models which have an electric motor (fully electric, plug in hybrid and conventional hybrid cars). Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive said “People increasingly demand electrified cars and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs. You can now pick and choose whichever electrified Volvo you wish.
    • In July 2017, Volvo issued a Press Releaseannouncing that by 2019 they would only sell car models which have an electric motor (fully electric, plug in hybrid and conventional hybrid cars). Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive said “People increasingly demand electrified cars and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs. You can now pick and choose whichever electrified Volvo you wish.
  •  Governments:
    • Anti-ICE – Many US states have introduced anti-ICE legislation(i.e. anti-internal combustion engine) – this includes reserved spaces for electric vehicles and fines for ICE vehicles which use the spaces. In some country’s fossil-fuelled vehicles will be banned in law. This is some time away though, the UK, for example, has set a date of 2040
    • Grants – The UK Government operates the Electric Vehicle Home charge Scheme Grant, there are also grants available for the capital outlay when purchasing an electric vehicle
    • Green number plates – some governments (including the UK government) are experimenting with green number plates and the concept of offering a range of incentives, which qualify for a green number plate
    • Loans – some governments have offered interest-free loans to help with the capital outlay of an electric vehicle
    • New homes electric vehicle ready – some governments are ensuring that each new home built has an electric vehicle charging point as a part of the build
    • Parking – In 2016 the city of Milton Keynes, UK introduced 15,000 free parking places for electric vehicles, these places included a charging point. Also, electric vehicles are frequently exempt from local congestion charging
    • Taxation – various taxation incentives have been available including zero road tax, company car tax reductions and others depending on national government taxation policies
  • Electricity providers:

Popular applications of fiber lasers in automotive e-mobility

There are many popular uses of fiber lasers for e-mobility in the automotive industry. We list some of the applications below, with a link to guides we have prepared separately.

Gauges on electric cars will look unfamiliar to start with for drivers

Gauges on electric cars will look unfamiliar to start with for drivers

SPI Lasers – developing e-mobility solutions for the automotive industry

SPI Lasers have a growing footprint in the automotive industry, one that will continue to grow as we continuously innovate and keep pace with emerging e-mobility requirements. Our strategy is very much focused on delivering e-mobility solutions and we would love for you to contact us to discuss your requirements. Our fiber lasers have strong capabilities in areas such as welding, additive manufacturing and marking, which all have their place in e-mobility projects. Click here to subscribe to SPI regular updates.

 

Image Credits: Mikes Photos, Photoman and Wikipedia

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