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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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Hyundai To Manufacture EVs In Singapore From 2022

Hyundai To Manufacture EVs In Singapore From 2022

Hyundai Motor has announced that it plans to manufacture its electric vehicles (EVs) in Singapore, starting in 2022, according to Straits Times. As such, the auto maker will be setting up a 28,000 square metre plant in Singapore with construction to begin in October.

The new plant will have the capacity to manufacture 30,000 EVs a year, with as many as 6000 cars sold in Singapore, and the new facility will create hundreds of jobs for the city. An electric compact crossover based on the IONIQ EV range is speculated to be the first vehicle produced at the plant.

Earlier this year in April, the automaker has announced that they will be establishing a Smart Mobility Innovation Center to accelerate its innovation efforts and transformation into a smart mobility solution provider.

This is in line with Singapore’s initiatives to boost the city’s EV market which includes expansion of charging infrastructure by 2030 and the goal to eliminate combustion engines from 2040.

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Electric Cars: The Lifeline Of The Auto Industry

Electric Cars: The Lifeline Of The Auto Industry

In the past two decades, the car market has declined twice: first due to the 2008 economic crisis, and then due to falling sales in China. Most recently, the lockdowns implemented to combat the coronavirus pandemic, causing auto-production plants to close globally and a loss of consumer spending will lead to an unprecedented 23 percent decline in 2020, according to a report “Advanced Electric Cars 2020-2040” by IDTechEx.

In the following decade (2030 – 2040), things will not improve: the global car market will be blindsided by the rise of autonomous vehicles, which greatly reduces the need for private car ownership. Within this scenario, it is electric cars which will remain a beacon of growth, satisfying both the governmental drive to clean air in cities whilst also working more readily with autonomous vehicle technology.

In their simplest form, an electric car consists of an energy storage device powering one electric traction motor, which spins wheels via a transmission. First invented in the 19th century, electric cars ultimately lost the battle to the internal combustion engine, unable to compete with the energy density of gasoline. Over one hundred years later, the Li-ion battery is enabling their meteoric rise as a solution for reducing local emissions and green-house gases.

Once derided as toys, today electric cars with barely 15 years of development offer cutting-edge automotive technology and performance, from sub 2.5 second 0 – 60mph acceleration, to autonomous driving functionality and solar bodywork. Battery-electric vehicles (BEV) are the endgame: zero emissions at point of use and the focus of automotive start-ups (and China). On the other hand, Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) provide a short/mid-term solution, soothing initial fears of range anxiety.

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A Look At Global Powertrain Key Technologies And Trends By Region

A Look At Global Powertrain Key Technologies And Trends by Region

Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, Global Powertrain Outlook, 2020, finds that global automotive sales are expected to decline by more than 14.2 percent due to COVID-19 by the end of 2020 as manufacturing facilities and supply chains are affected by worldwide lockdowns. However, this slowdown is not expected to have an impact on consumer purchase trends. Demand for diesel engines is expected to decline in Europe by 30 percent by the end of 2020 as Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLPT) commences, while global electric vehicle (EV) sales are forecast to increase by about 3.4 percent, spurring demand for gasoline-hybrid and fully-electric powertrains

“OEMs will focus on hybridising existing internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles as full hybrids have proven to help comply with stricter regulations and have also enjoyed consumer success in recent times,” said Naga Karthik Voruganti, Research Analyst, Automotive & Transportation at Frost & Sullivan.

“Engine downsizing will continue, while the highly efficient gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines will continue seeing an increase in adoption. The integration of gasoline particulate filters (GPFs) and three-way catalytic converters (3WCs) is expected to increase substantially in 2020 with more OEMs seeking to get their gasoline-powered vehicles certified under the new WLTP regulations.”

Voruganti also said mild-hybrid powertrains and the standardisation of exhaust after-treatment technologies, such as selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and coated GPF, are major technology trends that could impact the powertrain industry in 2020.

The growth opportunities in the key regional markets will vary considerably. The main trends and growth opportunities in each key region are presented below:

  • The United States: The US is expected to register about 1.13 million electric and hybrid vehicle sales in 2020, an increase of about 4.7 percent, with a majority of the growth coming from Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and mild and full hybrids.
  • Europe: European Electric Vehicles of all types (xEV) sales are expected to grow by 5.3 percent, assuming a moderate COVID-19 impact, and EVs alone will have a positive growth of about 27.5 percent.
  • China: Vehicle sales are projected to decrease in 2020 due to the unpredictable impact of COVID-19, but EV share is expected to increase from 4.9% of the sales in 2019 to 5.6% in 2020.
  • India: Hybrid vehicle sales increased by 75 percent from 2018, which poses opportunities for OEMs to explore the market. Diesel vehicles will witness an increase in prices compared to gasoline due to the stringent norms of Bharath Stage – 6 (BS-VI).
  • South Korea: Despite a decline of 1.6 percent in recorded sales nation-wide and the end of the temporary tax cut in August, the Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle (MHEV) 48V segment enjoyed 283% growth, as sales quadrupled in 2019.
  • Indonesia: Car sales improved toward the end of 2019, but due to the sudden and massive impact of COVID-19 on the global supply chain, overall sales are expected to decline by about 17.3 percent in 2020.
  • Japan: Although the sales of new passenger cars in the country in 2019 declined by 2.1 percent from 2018, Japanese brands’ sales have increased by 1.9 percent; sales of foreign brands declined by 3.3 percent. Vehicle sharing and the fading appeal of cars among the younger population are trends expected to affect the domestic market in 2020.

 

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