22 Jan 2018 / E-mobility

Leading the Charge for E-Mobility Solutions

An interview with Nicolas Batailley, Global E-mobility Leader for Solvay Performance Polyamides.

There is a growing market push for electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids, along with increasing governmental and regulatory pressure on the internal combustion engine (ICE). For these reasons, the automotive manufacturers (OEMs) are investing heavily in these technologies. We are seeing major momentum building here, with EVs and hybrids expected to account for 15% of the automotive market by 2025 and 30% by 2030. 

What is more, China, which already accounts for 33% of the world’s automotive production, is making a big push to be at the forefront of e-mobility. By 2025, 20% of all vehicles produced in the country must be electric, which will account for some 7 million vehicles.

At the same time, the economic equation of EVs is changing, with battery costs falling by 75% over the last six years. All the planets are aligning for a major shift from petrol and diesel engines to electric mobility. 

Orange is the new black

So, for us, there is no question about the future of e-mobility – it will definitely happen, the volumes will be there, and all major carmakers are working with us. This is why we have made e-mobility applications a key priority for our Technyl range of thermal management solutions, metal replacement, fire protection, and fluid barriers, because this is where the industry is headed.

Our Technyl range is the market leader in terms of providing materials for EV applications and we will continue to innovate to meet our customers’ needs. In this regard, we are focusing on the vital solution areas for handling high voltage systems (orange parts for easy identification), robust 

sensors and lighter-weight materials.

For the high voltage requirements, we are developing a full portfolio of orange materials, both flame retardant and not, to meet this surging demand. These orange components include connectors, circuit breakers, insulators, and more.

In addition, EVs and autonomous vehicles require an array of electronic sensors. These are susceptible to heat, humidity and electro-corrosion. The latter can be caused by ions migrating from plastic fittings to the metal contacts, which can be a big problem for sensors. Thus, we are developing range of halogen-free, electro-friendly materials, to lower the risk of corrosion.

The future is now

And, because autonomy, or range, is the key measure for EVs, they need lightweight components to maximize their range. Therefore, we are developing new, lighter-weight materials to replace metal parts, including a glass-fiber and polymer technology with magnesium, to meet these demands.

In addition, several major OEMs also have fuel cell technologies in the pipeline, so we are gearing up to respond to this growth segment as well. Fuel cells require high-purity water in the system, so plastic components need to be of high purity (halogen-free) and produced on a clean production line, developed specifically for fuel cell vehicles. Here, we have a unique polyamide offering, replacing PPA (Polyphthalamide).

E-mobility is the future and the OEMs are investing in the future today. As their partner of choice for thermal management solutions, metal replacement, fire protection, and fluid barriers, Technyl is leading the charge in the electric and hybrid vehicle space. Find out more about our Technyl offering for e-mobility.