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Global Transition Towards Electric Vehicles Poses Major Challenges.

Global Transition Towards Electric Vehicles Poses Major Challenges.

It seems that not much has changed from the age of petrol-fueled vehicles to our current era of electric vehicles(EVs). Scientists are still grappling worldwide over the depleting availability of resources and the effective usage of those resources to meet the rising demand in the automotive industry.

By Ashwini Balan, Eastern Trade Media


General Motors earlier this year announced their commitment towards being carbon neutral, and added that by 2035, all their vehicles will consist of zero tailpipe emissions. Audi, another leading multinational automotive manufacturer, pledges to end the production of combustion-engine by 2033.

With these two market leaders taking the leap forward to an all-electric future, many multinational companies are overwhelmed with the pressure to quickly transition to EVs to maintain their competitive edge but more importantly, meet the rising consumer demand. Boston Consulting Group (BCG) analysis forecasts that by 2026, more than half of new passenger vehicles sold worldwide will be electric.

With the shift from fuel-intensive to material-intensive energy sources, there are two main concerns that scientists are struggling to resolve. Firstly, to reduce the usage of metal in batteries as it is scarce, expensive, environmentally toxic and working conditions hazardous to miners. Secondly, would be to create a recyclable battery system to maximise the utility of the valuable metals available.

Lithium-ion batteries are highly used in EVs due to their low cost which is 30 times cheaper than when they first entered the market in the early 1990s[1]. In addition, BNEF estimated that the current reserves of lithium— 21 million tonnes, according to the US Geological Survey — are enough to carry the conversion to EVs through to the mid-century.[2]  Hence, what concerns researches in EV batteries is Cobalt and Nickel.

In an attempt to address this issue, researches have been experimenting in removing both cobalt and nickel from the composition of EV batteries. However, to successfully remove them would radically transform the cathode materials. In recent years, Ceder’s team and other groups have displayed that certain lithium-rich rock salts were able to perform without the use of cobalt or nickel and yet remain stable in the process. In particular, they can be made with manganese, which is cheap and plentiful, Ceder says.[3]

To create a battery recycling system, another hurdle to overcome is the cost of recycling lithium. A potential solution would be through government support, which is seen in China where financial and regulatory incentives for battery companies are given to source materials from recycling firms instead of importing freshly mined ones, says Hans Eric Melin, managing director of Circular Energy Storage, a consulting company in London.

It is also problematic for manufacturers in their recycling efforts, when the chemistry of cathodes become obsolete at the end of the cars’ life cycle. In response to that, material scientist Andrew Abbott at the University of Leicester, UK developed a technique for separating out cathode materials using ultrasound. He adds that this method works effectively in battery cells that are packed flat rather than rolled up and can make recycled materials much cheaper than virgin mined metals.[4]

Scaling up the volume of lithium also aids in reducing the cost of recycling and this would make it economically viable for businesses to adopt it says Melin. The example of lead-acid batteries — the ones that start petrol-powered cars — gives reason for optimism.  “The value of a lead-acid battery is even lower than a lithium-ion battery. But because of volume, it makes sense to recycle anyway,” Melin says.[5]

With the collaborative effort among policymakers, researchers and manufacturers an all-electric future is an attainable reality.

References of Content:
Original Article Source: Davide Castelvecchi, 2021( https://t.co/amlXvXWs6E?amp=1 )

[1]  M. S. Ziegler & J. E. Trancik Energy Environ. Sci.2021

[2]  BloombergNEF. Electric Vehicle Outlook 2021 (BNEF, 2021)

[3]  Yang, J. H., Kim, H. & Ceder, G. Molecules 26, 3173 (2021)

[4] Lei, C. et al. Green Chem. 23, 4710–4715 (2021)

[5] Melin, H. E. et al. Science 373, 384–387 (2021).

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VinFast Deploys Siemens’ Full Portfolio To Deliver Cars Ahead Of Schedule

VinFast Deploys Siemens’ Full Portfolio To Deliver Cars Ahead Of Schedule

VinFast, Vietnam’s first volume car manufacturer, has successfully produced its first cars ahead of schedule using Siemens’ portfolio of integrated software and hardware. By deploying its portfolio, Siemens helped VinFast achieve its automotive production timeline for building the factory, car design and start of the production in only 21 months, well ahead of an already ambitious schedule. This is half of the average time to build such a manufacturing plant. The VinFast plant in Hai Phong went live in June 2019 and has a total design capacity of 250,000 cars per year. The first vehicles have been E-Scooters, compact cars, sedans, and SUVs. These will be followed by battery electric passenger cars as well as electric buses.

The entire value chain has been integrated and digitalised with Siemens’ Digital Enterprise portfolio, which includes the Xcelerator portfolio of software and Totally Integrated Automation (TIA). Xcelerator enables creation of the most accurate digital twin, melding model-based simulations with test data and real performance analytics with intelligent edge control. VinFast is using Teamcenter software as backbone of collaboration for product lifecycle management and NX software, a leading integrated solution for computer-aided design, manufacturing and engineering (CAD/CAM/CAE), to develop the digital twin of cars and production. Teamcenter connects the digital twin with a consistent digital thread, which is helping VinFast increase speed and flexibility in development, optimise manufacturing processes and use the insights gained from product and plant operations to improve future performance. VinFast has also implemented Siemens Opcenter software (formerly Simatic IT Unified Architecture) to increase production speed and quality. This MES solution supports closed-loop manufacturing by driving real-time production data to the digital twin of product and enables innovation of product design and production operations.

Automation is realised by the modular and flexible automation concept Totally Integrated Automation (TIA), that controls and drives all productions. VinFast deployed Siemens’ automation equipment for its manufacturing lines in all shops: press shop, paint shop, body shop, assembly shop, sub-assembly- and engine shop. Simatic Controllers enable VinFast to automate factory operations such as robots or conveyor lines, including safety functionality. VinFast uses the engineering framework TIA Portal to program automation tasks from the press shop through to the final assembly. Simatic HMI’s are widely used in the factory, allowing VinFast to operate and observe the status of machines and entire systems for the production staff. Using Siemens’ Industrial Identification products, VinFast can track and trace parts and optimise the entire flow of materials. In addition, Sinumerik controls guarantee highest efficiency and quality in their powertrain machinery. Further portfolio provided by Siemens features network components, power supplies, control products, low voltage distribution and switchgears, an energy distribution system as well as motors and drives. The comprehensive automation components from Siemens enable VinFast to build up the factory with high quality of global standards.

“VinFast and their new production site are a great example of how the automotive industry is driving the digital transformation of manufacturing,” says Bernd Mangler, Senior Vice President Automotive Solutions at Siemens Digital Industries. “We are proud that we contributed with our offerings to create the virtual and real production lines including the technology for continuous optimisations along the entire lifecycle of the equipment – and of course, all had to happen in record speed.”

 

Further reading:

Vietnam To Remove Import Tax For Auto Materials
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Volkswagen Group To Invest €34 Billion By 2022 To “Reinvent The Car”

 

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Appvantage Celebrates Seven Years Of Innovation

Appvantage Celebrates Seven Years of Innovation

Singapore: On 13 April 2018, Appvantage Asia, an automotive digital solutions provider, celebrated its seven years of empowering automotive brands with the delivery of digital solutions to original equipment manufacturers, their captive financiers, and the auto finance industry globally.

Established in 2011, the Singapore-based company has expanded globally, serving businesses across 22 countries and supported by branch offices in Myanmar, China, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

The company develops bespoke digital solutions and systems for the retail automotive industry heavyweights like Daimler, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services and Jardine Motors Group / Cycle & Carriage in Singapore with a dedicated in-house development team.

It acts as an industry catalyst in connecting the customer directly with the brand by focusing on the end-user customer journey. This marks a significant shift towards technology-enabled transformation in the automotive ecosystem through customer self-service enablement.

“Technology is often an important lever to enable companies to change the basis of competition. Our goal is to revolutionise the automotive industry and as a starting point, we are helping companies to digitalise the car purchase process by building user experiences on top of their legacy systems,” according to Moritz Rossmanith, regional business development manager at Appvantage.

He added: “We help our clients by offering a modern digital customer journey, whilst concurrently leveraging their existing in-house systems to retain digital data security.”

Starting with less than five employees, Appvantage has grown to a headcount of 30 digital automotive personnel. Having delivered over 80 unique solutions globally, the company is one of the forerunners of automotive “design sprints”.

Led by Eng Poo Yang, chief executive officer and founder, the firm’s design sprint can last from one to three weeks and follow a unique process tailored to each client—business processes, situations, limitations, special requests, aesthetic demands, and technological needs.

After an initial discovery session, the company’s user experience team proposes a strategy from the data gathered during the workshop and help to convert the idea into an interactive digital prototype. This allows for use experience testing and collection of data for validation, with added fast-track option to begin solution development when ready.

Mr Eng states, “Appvantage aims to empower all players within the automotive ecosystem—from brands, to consumers, and everyone in between.”

Coinciding with their seventh year, the company has embarked on phase two of a game changing strategy that will transform the way vehicles are acquired. This digital platform brings the entire automotive buying and ownership experience together, connecting all parties in the car buying process—from purchase to repurchase by digitally connecting brands, consumers, financial institutions, insurance providers and service workshops together.

 

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