In the 2017 UN Climate Change Conference held in Bonn, Germany, last month, countries around the world advanced the agenda to rapidly implement the Paris Climate Change Agreement to address environmental issues. One area in which key progress was achieved at COP 23 was to determine how countries measure and report their greenhouse gas emissions in order to achieve concrete reductions in the coming five to ten years.
From a mid-term view, some countries plan to have zero internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. For example, India plans to ban non ‘green vehicles’ by 2030, and France and Germany by 2040. And even China, which produces about 30% of worldwide vehicles, is tending toward developing a similar strategy.
International CO2 reduction commitments, coupled with the promulgation of legislation by local governments, have forced vehicle manufacturers to produce cost-efficient alternatives whilst driving markets toward a higher level of environmental consciousness.
“This will drive the diversification of powertrains and take the whole transportation market into the new era of electromobility (e-mobility),” says Dr. James Mitchell, Global Automotive Market Director for Solvay Performance Polyamides.
While the market for vehicles with pure ICE is expected to slow, fast growth will occur on Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs) and Battery Full Electric Vehicles (BEVs). “We forecast that 15% of the worldwide production will be either hybrid or electric vehicles by 2025, which amounts to 16 million vehicles,” adds Mitchell.
Fig.1 Light vehicles production growth per energy
The tightening regulations is not the only factor that boosts the current momentum. Lithium-ion battery costs are falling rapidly as global battery producers expand manufacturing facilities, unlocking economies of scale. Battery costs dropped to US$225/KWh last year, which is only a quarter of the cost in 2010.
Fig.2 Li-ion Battery cost has been divided by 4 in 6 years
Growing environmental awareness will also positively impact consumer behaviour in the next 10 years. New models of hybrid-electric vehicles have been increasingly appealing to consumers.
Major OEMs have unveiled massive investment plans in e-mobility and ambitious development plans. Volkswagen announced last month that by the end of 2022 more than EUR 34 billion is planned for the development of electric mobility, autonomous driving, new mobility services and digitalization.
Daimler wants to invest EUR 10 billion in expanding its portfolio of electric vehicles and plans to launch at least ten new electric automobiles by 2022. The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, which has sold more than 500,000 plug-ins so far, plans to introduce 12 new all-electric models using common platforms by 2022.
Although breakthroughs in technology and government subsidies have accelerated the acceptance of e-mobility in the market, the whole value chain still needs to step up efforts to come up with solutions for the evolving challenges. For example, the weaker performance from a downsized engine, battery safety, lifetime and high costs, and high voltage electrical protection.
Therefore, developing long-term collaboration with OEMs and deep understanding about the global auto market will be key to support mainstream players to accelerate the development of e-mobility.
That is what Technyl teams do every day! Through key expertise in metal replacement, thermal management, fire protection, fluid barrier and eco-friendly solutions, they help to answer the new mobility challenges.
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