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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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Shifting Gears: Addressing New Requirements In EV Manufacturing

Shifting Gears: Addressing New Requirements In EV Manufacturing

Andy Kuklinski of Ceratizit talks about the electric vehicle trend in the automotive industry, how it has changed the machining landscape, and the new requirements being faced by manufacturers. Article by Stephen Las Marias.

Andy Kuklinski

The Ceratizit Group develops and produces highly specialised cutting tools, indexable inserts, rods made from hard materials, and wear parts. Active in more than 80 countries worldwide, the Group has more than 8,000 employees and over 30 production sites. Its innovative hard material solutions are used in various sectors, including mechanical engineering and toolmaking, wood and stone working, in the automotive and aerospace industries, and in the oil, gas and medical industries.

In an interview with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News, Andy Kuklinski, Head of Segment Automotive/Team Cutting Tools at Ceratizit, talks about the electric vehicle trend in the automotive industry, how it has changed the machining landscape, and the new requirements being faced by manufacturers.

HOW HAVE THE REQUIREMENTS IN ELECTRIC VEHICLES (EVs) CHANGED THE AUTOMOTIVE MANUFACTURING LANDSCAPE?

Andy Kuklinski (AK): One of the changes is that even more components will be made of aluminium. This will affect and change the manufacturing and supplier strategy. A typical example are cylinder heads and cylinder blocks. While these parts used to be manufactured mainly by the OEMs themselves, the focus is now moving to Tier 1 and even Tier 2 suppliers for the machining of the electric engine casing. We are increasingly seeing former aluminium foundries now responding and manufacturing the finished machined part in the same production facility. So, the landscape, especially the supply chain landscape, will definitely look different towards EV manufacturing.

WHAT KEY CHALLENGES HAVE YOU BEEN HEARING FROM YOUR AUTOMOTIVE CUSTOMERS WHO ARE TRANSITIONING TO EV?

AK: We are in constant exchange with our customers and hear again and again how challenging it is to react to the enormous and rapid changes in automotive components. In particular, the R&D and production planning departments are under great time pressure to meet the massively increasing demand for EVs. By supporting them quickly with the right machining concepts, we can mitigate at least some of this pressure.

HOW DO THESE CHALLENGES DIFFER FROM THE TRADITIONAL INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE VEHICLES?

AK: For one thing, the time pressure was much less with the combustion vehicles, since it was not necessary to renew large parts of the portfolio in a short period of time. The product cycles were very finely tuned. For another, the parts that are being created now, especially in the powertrain area, are completely different from the parts that car companies produced in the past—many things are still new and simply bring new challenges. Previous combustion engines were always developed in a similar way and always had the same contours and materials that people knew how to process. In many respects, it was a constant process of optimisation.

HOW ARE THESE CHALLENGES IMPACTING YOUR TECHNOLOGY/PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES?

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GlobalData: Thailand Automotive Production And Domestic Sales To Revive In 2021

GlobalData: Thailand Automotive Production And Domestic Sales To Revive In 2021

The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) expects domestic car sales to decline by 5.3 percent in 2021, after a 21.4 percent slump in the previous year. Following this news, Bakar Sadik Agwan, Senior Automotive Consulting Analyst at GlobalData, offers his view:

“Thailand automotive production output and domestic sales followed downward trend in 2020. In line with GlobalData’s estimates, the country’s production output declined by 29.14 percent to 1.43 million units. The domestic sales also remained low with a 21.4 percent decline to 792K units compared to 2019. 2020 remained a bumpy ride for the Thailand auto industry, with January-July sales slipping down to 2008 levels and the auto production witnessing y-o-y decline for straight 10 months of the year. However, November and December showed signs of revival with y-o-y production and sales witnessing an increase, which is attributed to new car launches by automakers, attractive discounts and promotion campaigns and the financial stimulus by the government.

“Weak domestic and overseas demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic, major supply chain disruptions affecting production, massive slowdown in tourism sector, subdued economic growth and negative consumer sentiments remained major factors behind the production and sales de-growth in 2020. Some of these factors may further impact the production and sales in 2021 along with second wave of COVID-19 in domestic and some export markets, and ongoing chips shortages in the picture. FTI expects the vehicle production to reach 1.5 million units in 2021, marginally up compared to 2020. Thailand Board of Investment (BOI)’s new investment privileges and tax breaks to manufacturers are expected to support automotive production.

“Domestic demand in Thailand is anticipated to witness revival in 2021. However, volumes are expected to remain below 2020 levels. The government’s economic stimulus measures, growth in tourism, investment in infrastructure projects and government push for EV adoption are expected to boost automotive sales and support FTI’s projection of 750K vehicles sales in 2021, which will be a 5.3 percent decline y-o-y but significant improvement compared to 21.4 percent decline in 2020.”

 

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Hyundai $400 Million Innovation Center In Singapore To Revolutionise The Future Of Mobility

Hyundai $400 Million Innovation Center In Singapore To Revolutionise The Future Of Mobility

Hyundai Motor Group (the Group) is opening a $400 million Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Center in Singapore (HMGICS) set to be completed by the end of 2022. Located at the Jurong Innovation District, the 28,000 m2 center will act as an open innovation lab for the Group’s future mobility research and development, with the aim of revolutionising the future mobility value chain.

“HMGICS is a major step forward for Hyundai Motor. The facility is the first of its kind in the world. It will pave the way for more Korean companies to invest here, partner with local suppliers and SMEs, and collaborate with our universities and research institutes,” said Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

“Singapore’s goal is to have all our vehicles run on cleaner energy by 2040, in line with our Paris Agreement commitments. We hope this will open up new growth areas for our economy, and create exciting jobs for Singaporeans,” he continued.

“Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Center in Singapore will strive for ‘Human-Centered Value Chain Innovation for a Mobility Paradigm Shift.’ We will offer products and services tailored to customers’ needs,” said Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman Euisun Chung. “I am confident the innovations that spring from HMGICS will shape our future global society for the better and       contribute to the progress of humanity.”

In future, customers will be able to customise and purchase vehicles online using a smartphone, which will immediately start production using Hyundai’s on-demand technology. The customers can then watch their car being manufactured at HMGICS. Once the car is ready for delivery, it will be transferred to the 620-meter-long Sky Track where customer can test drive the vehicle.

The center will also act as a test bed for a human-centered intelligent manufacturing platform with small scale EV production facility on site. The facility will utilise the latest ‘Industry 4.0’ smart technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and robotics. The logistics and assembly lines within HMGICS will be highly automated to establish a safe and efficient work environment. The Group will also test versatile systems that produce multiple models, to respond efficiently to fast changing market environments.

The collaboration will go beyond the Group and into the Singaporean innovation ecosystem. Singaporean universities, startups and research institutes, including Nanyang Technological University, Singapore – the first local academic research partner – will be able to collaborate through the open innovation lab.

“Hyundai is a strategic partner in our effort to address future mobility needs through innovation and advanced manufacturing technologies. The Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Centre will introduce important new capabilities in areas such as electric vehicles and urban air mobility, and create new opportunities for Singaporeans. This will complement the vibrant base of companies that are involved in the development of autonomous driving and electrification technologies,” said Dr. Beh Swan Gin, Chairman, Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).

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Why Porosity Sealing Is Key To Delivering Next-Generation EVs

Why Porosity Sealing is Key to Delivering Next-Generation EVs

Dr. Mark Cross of Ultraseal International explores the role of vacuum impregnation when implementing zero waste, zero defect and continuous improvements in hybrid and electric vehicle manufacturing.

Fast-cycle times increase throughput for both single and multi-part processing.

With the world focused on finding sustainable, low-carbon solutions for travel, the move to hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) and battery electric vehicle (BEV) adoption is well underway. 

According to a study by Boston Consulting Group, EV sales (mild hybrid, full hybrid, plug-in hybrid and full battery-electric vehicles) are expected to surpass internal-combustion-engine (ICE) vehicle sales by 2030, taking 51 percent of the market, with BEV and PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) categories accounting for 25 percent of total vehicle sales. However, 82 percent of cars will still contain an ICE powertrain, with PHEVs, HEVs and mild hybrids all using internal combustion engines alongside their electric powertrain.

Automotive manufacturers are under pressures from many sides. On the consumer side, there is a sharp drop in confidence in diesel due to the introduction of clean air zones, some of which are already in force, and a ban on internal combustion engine vehicles in the UK by 2035.

Meanwhile, governments around the world are tightening up on automotive emission legislation. In Europe, there are increasingly stringent CO2-emission regulations. In China, efficiency is paramount, with their ever-stricter Corporate Average Fuel Consumption (CAFC) and New-Energy Vehicle (NEV) regulations testament to that.

To meet these regulations and consumer needs, car makers are gearing up to launch a wave of new electric vehicle (EV) models during 2020. Many EVs on the market in recent years have been targeted at high-end markets with a price tag to match. However, 2020 will see the launch of EVs which are much more familiar and accessible to the average driver, including the MINI, the Vauxhall Corsa, the Fiat 500 and the Volkswagen ID.3 and e-Up! being just a few to mention.

There’s no doubt that significant advances have already been achieved in hybrid and BEV manufacturing in recent years. However, while these vehicles offer a greener alternative during operation, it is increasingly important that the engineering and manufacturing process behind them is also environmentally sustainable.

The Role of Vacuum Impregnation in Automotive Manufacturing

With vehicle weight having an adverse effect on battery usage, hybrid and BEV manufacturers are increasingly looking at ways to reduce overall vehicle mass. The use of structural die cast components can help – especially if manufacturers opt to substitute materials, such as steel, with lightweight materials like aluminium. By manufacturing drive and powertrain components, such as electric motors, from die cast aluminium, car makers can further reduce vehicle weight. In turn, battery range can be extended for BEVs and HEVs, while reducing vehicle emissions for the latter as well.

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Mazda And Toyota Joint Venture Commits Additional $830 Million To Cutting-Edge Manufacturing Technologies

Mazda And Toyota Joint Venture Commits Additional $830 Million To Cutting-Edge Manufacturing Technologies

Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, (MTM), the new joint-venture between Mazda Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor Corporation, has announced an additional $830 million investment to incorporate more cutting-edge manufacturing technologies to its production lines and provide enhanced training to its workforce of up to 4,000 employees.

Total funding contributed to the development of the state-of-the-art facility in US is now $2.311 billion, up from the $1.6 billion originally announced in 2018. The investment reaffirms Mazda and Toyota’s commitment to produce the highest-quality products at the facility. It also accommodates production line enhancements made to improve manufacturing processes supporting the Mazda vehicle and design changes to the yet to be announced Toyota SUV that will both be produced at the plant.

The new facility will have the capacity to produce up to 150,000 units of a future Mazda crossover vehicle and up to 150,000 units of the Toyota SUV each year. MTM continues to target up to 4,000 new jobs and has hired approximately 600 employees to date, with plans to resume accepting applications for production positions later in 2020.

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