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What Will Move Us Next?: IAA Mobility 2021 Highlights

What Will Move Us Next?: IAA Mobility 2021 Highlights

With 2021 coming to a close and some countries slowly easing restrictions within their country, the post-pandemic world has certainly been enlightened to how mobility affects us significantly.

By Ashwini Balan, Eastern Trade Media

Mobility can be labelled as an umbrella term that encapsulates a wide range of functions either as enabling mobility or in itself mobility. Especially in our digital world, the possibility is simply limitless from our standard automobiles to digital solutions and urban air mobility. With the global vision of an all-electric future, the organisers of IAA Mobility 2021, have brought together a phenomenal trade show that has been a trending topic among trade leaders, international corporations and fans of the latest automotive innovations. 

400,000 participants from 95 countries – 744 exhibitors and 936 speakers from 32 countries – 67 percent of visitors under the age of 40 – international media reach of 137 billion – survey shows very positive exhibitor and visitor response. All these statistics makes it further evident that the premiere of IAA Mobility 2021 in Munich, from the 7th to 12th September, was a roaring success and is now the largest mobility event in the world.

“We took a courageous step and were rewarded by the visitors,” said Hildegard Müller, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), which organized the first IAA Mobility this year jointly with Messe München.

“What will move us next?” is the motto of this year’s show with three key pillars being mobility of the future, commitment to constant change, and a platform for all those shaping the future. Among the massive list of exhibits, some were well-known OEMs such as Renault, Hyundai, Ford, BMW, MINI, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Porsche, Volkswagen, Huawei, Microsoft, IBM, Bosch, Magna, Schaeffler, Continental, Michelin, and the bicycle brands Canyon, Specialized, Riese & Müller, Rose, Kettler and many more.

I have narrowed some interesting products and innovations that might be of interest to you. 

Products: 176 listed

Automobiles Related

Innovations: 340 listed

“We are now evaluating the event and will further develop our strategy so that we can welcome an even broader spectrum of exhibitors at the next IAA MOBILITY, and to continue the dialog on the future of mobility.,” Hildegard Müller said. 

Regardless of the event format in Munich, the IAA Mobility will continue operating its website, making it a worldwide digital platform for the transformation of mobility on the path to climate neutrality, for innovations around cars, bikes, scooters, car and ride sharing, digitization and urban development.

References of the content:
1. Original Article Source: Press Release, IAA Mobility 2021 Website

2. The best photos of the IAA MOBILITY 2021 are available here

3. The film about the IAA MOBILTY 2021 is available here

4. The public-domain photo. and film material is available here

5. The complete list of exhibitors is available here

6. The complete list of partners is available here

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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( )

[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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Toyota Electrification Plans To Boost Presence In Asia-Pacific EV Market

Toyota Electrification Plans To Boost Presence In Asia-Pacific EV Market

Toyota is set to unveil the concept version of the first model in its new battery electric vehicle (BEV) series, the Toyota bZ4X, in Shanghai and establish a full line-up of EVs to reduce CO2 emissions with the aim of having 70 electrified models by 2025.

Following this news, Bakar Sadik Agwan, Senior Automotive Consulting Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:

“Toyota presently has only 4 BEVs in its portfolio and the new launches will enhance its position in the Japan and global BEV market. Several global OEMs, including Toyota, presently do not have a strong BEV portfolio due to their strategic priorities, low volumes and profitability concerns with battery vehicles. But the EV scenario has changed rapidly and there are significant opportunities in EV space due to push from the regional governments, reduction in costs and the availability of wide-range of products.

In addition to global market, Toyota’s BEV portfolio expansion will help it to tap significant opportunities in its home market, Japan, which presently does not have attractive BEV offerings and is witnessing high growth in demand for BEVs from select players such as Nissan and Tesla. Nissan’s Leaf is the only popular and successful BEV available for the mass market in Japan. While Tesla caters to the premium segment with sales of nearly 2,000 units annually.

In the recent past, Asia-Pacific has witnessed major developments in the EV market. Players such as Hyundai are trying to lead with innovative products and standout features while technology companies such as Huawei, Sony and Xiaomi are trying to penetrate the BEV market. The market is getting fiercely competitive day by day and automakers need to respond with suitable products to make their future sustainable.”


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Thailand BOI Introduces EV Package And Over 35 Billion Baht In Investments

Thailand BOI Introduces EV Package And Over 35 Billion Baht In Investments

The Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) has approved the roll out of a comprehensive set of incentives covering all major aspects of the Electric Vehicles (EV) supply chain, with a focus on Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), local production of critical parts, and the inclusion of commercial vehicles of all sizes as well as ships.

The board also approved 35.7 billion baht (US$1.1 billion) worth of large investment projects in several sectors.

“In line with the Government policy to promote electric vehicles across the board, and to answer the radical changes underway in the global car industry, the BOI today approved a package that will accelerate the development of EV production and related supply chain in Thailand, and allow the entire sector to move into higher gear,” said Ms Duangjai Asawachintachit, Secretary General of the BOI, after a board meeting chaired by Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-ocha.

New Package For EV

The new promotion package, which replaces the first EV package which expired in 2018, covers a comprehensive range of electrical vehicles, namely passenger cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, tricycles, and ships.

Incentive schemes for these different types of electric vehicles can be summarised as follows:

  • Four wheelers: Qualified projects with a total investment package worth at least 5 billion baht will be granted a 3-year tax holidays for PHEVs, but as for BEVs, an 8-year corporate income tax exemption period will be offered and will be extendable in case of R&D investment/expenditures.
  • Motorcycles, three-wheelers, buses and trucks: Qualified projects will be granted 3-year corporate income tax exemption, extendable if meeting additional requirements.
  • Electric-powered ship production projects, for vessels with less than 500 gross tonnage, will be eligible for eight years of corporate income tax exemption.

The BOI also approved to add four more types of EV parts in the list of critical parts, namely high voltage harness, reduction gear, battery cooling system and regenerative braking system. These four categories will all receive eight years corporate tax exemptions.

To promote local EV battery production, the BOI also approved additional incentives for the production of both battery modules and battery cells for the local market by granting a 90 percent reduction of import duties for two years on raw or essential materials not available locally.

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Battery Electric Vehicles Will Be Less Reliant On Lightweighting By 2030

Battery Electric Vehicles Will Be Less Reliant On Lightweighting By 2030

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are poised to be the future of the auto industry. Looking toward the future of BEVs, a new report from Lux Research, “Electric Vehicle Lightweighting 2030,” analyses the future of vehicle lightweighting and necessary BEV success factors over the next decade.

In the past, lightweighting – or purposely designing more lightweight cars specifically for fuel efficiency – has been a key tool for improving the fuel economy of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. However, the transition from ICEs to BEVs changes both the goals and the design considerations around lightweighting.

Anthony Schiavo, Senior Analyst at Lux, states, “BEVs are overwhelmingly more efficient than ICE vehicles due to regenerative braking and more efficient motors and are increasingly outgrowing the issue of limited range. Materials companies need to start planning for a fully mature BEV space.”

Lux predicts that battery pack energy densities will increase by roughly 15 percent over the next decade. This increased energy density can be used to either extend the range of a vehicle by keeping battery size the same or reduce cost by shrinking the size of the battery pack. In its analysis, Lux modeled both scenarios and calculated a lightweighting benchmark. Lux determined that in order for lightweighting to be a cost-effective solution against batteries by 2030, it will need to cost, on average, less than $5 per kilogram of weight saved.

“This benchmark is not the only thing guiding lightweighting decisions,” cautions Schiavo. “To find adoption, materials companies and manufacturers will need to find solutions that save on both weight and cost.”

“We predict vehicle structure will be an opportunity for high-strength steel and aluminum, as they provide weight reductions at minimal cost,” Schiavo continues. “Bumpers are expected to benefit from design advancements that utilise glass fiber, carbon fiber, and thermoplastics. Other material priorities, such as sustainability, durability, and end-of-life issues, however, will take priority over lightweighting by 2030.” Lux found that there’s far more risk of disruption from improving energy storage technologies – which could substantially outstrip forecast improvements by 2030 – than there is from novel innovations in materials.

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IDTechEx Report Reviews How Nickel Is Replacing Cobalt In Electric Vehicles

IDTechEx Report Reviews How Nickel Is Replacing Cobalt In Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicle powertrains are much more materially diverse than the internal-combustion engine vehicles they replace. As a result, they are putting sudden and unprecedented strain on several raw materials industries.

One of the most crucial materials is Nickel, an essential part of the cathode in the Li-ion batteries enabling electrification. Most automakers utilise Nickel-based batteries for their balance of energy and power density; for example BMW, Hyundai and Renault use variants of the Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (NMC) chemistry, while Tesla uses a Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminium Oxide (NCA) chemistry. China also now favors NMC chemistries, having phased out Lithium-Iron-Phosphate (LFP) chemistries which is its subsidy program.

In 2019, more than 95 percent of new electric passenger cars sold used a variant of either NMC or NCA, as detailed in the IDTechEx report “Materials for Electric Vehicles 2020-2030“. Demand for Nickel is further amplified by the trend towards higher Nickel content in cells, as manufacturers switch to chemistries like NMC 622 or 811 over the previous 111 and 523, to improve energy density further and reduce dependence on Cobalt.

Nickel is the most expensive material in electric vehicle batteries after Cobalt and is also one of the most highly used outside of the battery industry. While Nickel is often not discussed as much as Cobalt or Lithium, sustainable and environmentally conscious supply is becoming more of an issue.

In 2017, the Philippines government suspended nearly half of its Nickel mines, citing environmental concerns. Moreover, Indonesia accounts for the largest supply of Nickel and in 2019 the country banned exports of raw Nickel ore to boost their domestic processing industry. Indonesia also has the most planned developments for increasing Nickel production and is set to dominate the supply chain.

One of the issues is Nickel is typically mined from ores that contain only a very small percentage of useful Nickel, resulting in a large amount of waste material. Recently it has been announced that two Nickel mining companies in Indonesia are planning to use deep-sea disposal for the raw material waste into the Coral Triangle as they ramp up operations. Less than 20 Nickel mines worldwide use deep-sea disposal, but these new facilities would account for millions of tonnes of waste material each year. This method is typically used because it is cheaper than the alternatives of dam storage or converting the raw materials to useful products.

Many automakers are aware of the environmental concerns in Nickel supply and that it can undermine the environmentally friendly message of the electric vehicle. Most, including the likes of PSA, VW and Tesla, have pledged to reduce the environmental impact of their batteries. This becomes challenging as the choice of suppliers that can meet the demands of these large automotive companies are limited. In the future, Nickel producers will have to prove that their practices are environmentally friendly if they want to sell into the European and American markets, where the automotive industry is making this a priority. Elon Musk has been quoted as saying that Tesla would give a “giant contract” to any companies that could mine Nickel “efficiently and in an environmentally sensitive way” (Financial Times).

As the electric vehicle market grows with the trend towards higher Nickel chemistries, IDTechEx expects the demand for Nickel from electric vehicle batteries to increase ten-fold by 2030 compared to 2019. This makes the environmentally-conscious supply of Nickel a serious issue going forward for the electric vehicle market.

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Are Battery Packs At The Heart Of EV Market Explosion?

Are Battery Packs At The Heart Of EV Market Explosion?

The total annual demand for battery packs for the growing electric vehicle (EV) segment will grow from US$26.6 billion in 2019 to US$137.1billion by 2025, according to analysts from Yole. This demand will be driven mainly driven by full electric vehicles, specifically battery EVs (BEVs), which will represent 75.9 percent of the total demand in GWh by 2025. Plug-in hybrid EVs (PHEVs) enable big CO2 emission reductions due to their electric engines, while keeping long driving ranges thanks to their ICEs3—taking second place in Yole’s ranking of total demand measured in GWh by 2025. Yole has releases a technology and market analysis focused on the Li-ion batteries industry: Li-ion battery packs for automotive and stationary storage applications.

“The EV sector is booming mainly due to the need to significantly reduce average vehicle fleet CO2 emissions to match governments’ strict CO2 emission reduction targets and thus avoid heavy penalties,” commented Milan Rosina, PhD, Principal Analyst, Power Electronics and Batteries, at Yole Développement (Yole), within the Power & Wireless division.

Stationary battery energy business is not the first priority of most battery manufacturers that are focusing today mainly on electric mobility. But the market growth for stationary battery systems is growing and is mainly driven by renewable energy sources, mainly photovoltaics and wind, and electricity grid regulation. EV/ PHEV charging stations have emerged as a new interesting market driver for stationary battery energy storage solutions to “smooth” strong electricity demand peaks while charging many EV/PHEVs at the same time.

Yole’s market forecast has been made during the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). According to the analysts, the impact of this virus on automotive and battery industry is significant. It is hard to evaluate how long this crisis will last and how its duration will negatively impact the manufactured volumes of conventional vehicles and EV/PHEV. The numbers presented in this report for 2020 might be thus reduced in the case of prolonged crisis due to coronavirus.

“There is no big technology breakthrough expected in coming years regarding battery cells and other battery pack components. The main trends will involve existing technology solutions, which will be further improved and more widely deployed. Technology and cost improvement will be steady,” said Shalu Agarwal, PhD, Power Electronics and Materials Analyst at Yole, within the Power & Wireless division.

Battery pack suppliers face significant challenges from newcomers attracted by the fast-growing market, dominant position of some cell suppliers, and strong price pressure on all battery application segments. Most battery pack suppliers are battery integrators, especially carmakers. They purchase battery cells mainly from leading suppliers like CATL, LG Chem, Panasonic and Samsung SDI, and build their battery pack using other components, including BMSs, heating/cooling systems, electrical interconnections, safety components, and housings. Carmakers are intruding ever more into battery cell design and in some cases also into cell manufacturing, as in the cases of Tesla and Daimler. Instead of purchasing cells, some battery integrators purchase battery modules directly and they just integrate modules into battery packs.

Indeed, the modular battery pack approach enables further manufacturing cost reductions and keeps the design flexibility for battery packs. Some carmakers have developed specific internal know-how and established tight supply chain partnerships. They might remain at least partially stuck with their historical technology and integration choices, while their competitors will move rapidly towards latest technologies and full vehicle electrification.


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GPSC Invests THB 1.1 Billion In Developing Thailand’s First Semi-Solid Battery Plant

GPSC Invests THB 1.1 Billion In Developing Thailand’s First Semi-Solid Battery Plant

Global Power Synergy Public Company Limited (GPSC) is developing Thailand’s first semi-solid battery pilot plant in the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate. GPSC has signed a THB 295 million construction contract with Thai Takasago Co., Ltd., a professional Japanese company with extensive experiences in battery plant construction and the total investment of this battery plant (including machines and equipment) is estimated at THB 1.1 billion.

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This project worth over THB 1.1 Billion will have a total capacity of 30 megawatt-hours (MWh), due to complete and commence operation by December 2020. Furthermore, GPSC plans to expand its power capacity up to 100MWh in 2021.

READ: Thailand To Lead In EV Battery Manufacturing And Assembly

Depending on future demand, GPSC will consider building a new giga scale commercial battery plant with potential partners from power industry, electric vehicle manufacturing industry and other related industries in preparation for the increasing demand in the future, particularly in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) and new smart city development, which help increase competitive advantage in energy businesses.

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“GPSC is PTT Group’s flagship in power business, which has been focusing on developing new S-Curve innovation to align with disruptive technology. The battery plant will lead GPSC to be a leading energy management solution provider, using unique technology from 24M Technologies (a Boston based semi solid lithium ion battery licensor), GPSC aim to produce and distribute the battery produced from this plant in Thailand and ASEAN market,” said Mr. Chawalit Tippawanich, President and Chief Executive Officer, GPSC.

“GPSC plans to produce the battery to serve the needs of PTT Group at initial stage and will expand to Thailand and ASEAN market to meet rising demand in the region particularly in Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Philippines,” added Mr. Chawalit.


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Thailand To Lead In EV Battery Manufacturing And Assembly

Thailand To Lead In EV Battery Manufacturing And Assembly

Thailand’s assembly and output of Electric Vehicle (EV) batteries are predicted to reach 430,000 units by 2023, according to Kasikorn Research Center (K-Research). As such, Thailand will be responsible for three percent of global EV battery production by 2023 and will be placed top four in Asia. Moreover, sales of the three types of EVs—hybrids, plug in hybrids and battery EVs in Thailand will account for 25 percent of the total car market.

The research centre said, “The EV market is expected to increase significantly from 2019 as many car manufacturers have applied for the Board of Investment’s (BoI) incentives to localise EV assembly.”

With implementation of the government’s EV scheme to focus on hybrid and plug-in hybrid EVs, investment flow for EV battery assembly will follow. Furthermore, car manufacturers successfully granted the BoI incentives are required to carry out their plans within three years, by 2021. The assembly of battery EV’s depend on the coverage of EV charging stations, while hybrid EVs may extend into eco-hybrid cars. Sales of hybrid EVs will see significant increase since they have already been available. Car manufacturers like Toyota and Mercedes-Benz will be localising battery assembly, which will drive assembly manufacturing for EV batteries.

Thailand will be a hub for EV battery exports. 260,000 units of the 430,000 total battery output by 2023 will be supplied to the domestic market, while 40 percent or 170,000 batteries will be exported. Battery EVs will mainly be delivered to Japan, Oceania, Singapore and Malaysia due to rising income growth and government’s support for EV facilities. Furthermore, with the Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement, Thailand is set to become the original equipment manufacturer EV battery hub for Japanese car manufacturers.


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Thailand Remains As Production Base For Toyota

Thailand Remains As Production Base For Toyota

Toyota Motor Thailand announces that the company will invest an estimated 10 billion baht annually in Thailand’s automotive industry and continue to use Thailand as a production base for both domestic and export markets. This investment will build confidence among foreign investors.

Previously, Toyota has successfully obtained privileges with total investment of 19 billion baht for production of hybrid electric vehicles (EV) from the Board of Investment (BoI) in 2017. According to Ninnart Chaithirapinyo, the board chairman at Toyota motor Thailand, the company plans to localise manufacturing of eco-friendly vehicles and has submitted an investment plan worth 10 billion baht for the government’s EV scheme. Furthermore, the company has also submitted applications with BoI to produce plug-in hybrid and battery EVs in January. Mr Ninnart said that Toyota will be manufacturing plug-in hybrids over the next three to four years and EVs in 2023.

Toyota also plans to assemble 7,000 hybrid EVs a year, making 70,000 batteries for EVs and producing other parts such as doors which totals up to 9.1 million units. Furthermore, the company is looking into a project next year to recycle the cells of hybrid car batteries which can be used for solar rooftops.


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