Recognized for driving clean mobility across the automotive sector, electric vehicle market and its related technologies have surged higher in the last few years.
This is happening due to major policy developments, sales growth, and landmark models who are set to enter the market soon.
Electric Vehicle Markets: Another Momentous Year
China has thrown down the gauntlet once again in the automotive sector, with record EV sales approaching 5 million a year. The dual-credit system – two types of credit that must be accumulated to avoid penalties – is a primary driver.
China’s success is leading to cross-pollination with other parts of the world, which could be key for mainstream EV adoption. Indeed, BYD and NIO have announced plans to sell EV models in Europe soon. The biggest hurdle to this may be political. The EU has a history of banning low-cost (or undercutting) EV imports from China, for example, a tariff of up to 83% was applied to e-bikes at the start of the craze a few years ago.
Within Europe, in June 2022, the EU confirmed a landmark internal combustion engine (ICE) ban for 2035, later saying that e-fuels will be banned for cars and light commercial vehicles (vans). The ruling further cements battery-electric vehicles as the lynchpin of future road transport markets. The ban represents approximately 9-10 million electric car sales annually by 2035 using current vehicle sales data. Given EU countries sold around 1.8 million electric cars in 2021, the targets, which are over a decade away, look achievable.
The emerging passenger truck market is the key US trend to watch for in 2023. Ford’s electric F150 was launched with overwhelming success, GM’s similarly priced Silverado is poised to enter the market in 2023, and GM’s luxury Hummer EV is sold out for two years. While Tesla currently has around 50% of the US EV car market, its share has declined slightly in recent years. As Tesla prioritizes battery supply for the Model 3 and Model Y, IDTechEx expects incumbents’ passenger truck models to become significant drivers for US sales.
Taking a step back, it is easy to dismiss the hurdles the supply chain faces when looking at exponential sales data.
While IDTechEx’s report expects that the capacity of current and future giga factories will be enough to support 36 million battery-electric cars per year by 2030, looking further upstream, particularly at lithium, there is uncertainty. What is becoming clear is the downsizing of battery capacities per vehicle while maintaining vehicle ranges will be key.
Electric Motors & Power Electronics: The New EV Battery
The emerging trend for 800V platforms and above is in full swing, with GM, Hyundai, and VW undergoing a transition alongside start-ups such as Lucid Motors. 800V platforms improve efficiency by reducing joule losses and allowing high voltage cabling to be downsized, saving weight.
There are several key performance metrics for electric motors, but again, a critical area is efficiency. Due to the many different considerations in motor design, the EV market has adopted several different solutions, including permanent magnets, induction, and wound-rotor motors. Key emerging motor technologies are axial flux and in-wheel motors.
Markets today are small, but IDTechEx expects increases in demand over the next ten years, with first applications in high-performance vehicles, shuttle buses, and certain hybrid applications.
Charging Infrastructure: Innovations to Keep Pace with EV Markets
As the largest EV sector, China leads the race with over 1.5 million public charging points. However, perhaps the most significant charging news of 2022 is the EU considering a landmark proposal to set new mandatory installation targets – for cars, there must be at least one electric charging pool every 60km along main EU roads by 2026. The move will help support the 9 million electric cars IDTechEx expects to be sold annually in Europe by 2030.
The IDTechEx report on battery swapping includes forecasts which show the growth to over 55,000 swap stations globally in ten years, with a key use case in the micro-mobility segment. The quickest charge is the one you never have to do – this is the premise behind the technology that is seeing significant uptake in China and wider APAC nations. However, the capital costs associated with setting up a battery swapping station are still higher than DC fast chargers. Whether this technology will be adopted elsewhere remains to be seen as market leaders such as NIO expand their footprint across Europe and the US.
IDTechEx’s latest charging report, “Wireless Charging Market for Electric Vehicles 2023-2033: Technology, Players and Forecasts”, covers the technology, players, and deployments in this emerging market. 2023 will be a major year for developments within the wireless charging market as pilot projects end, and commercial rollout begins.
Heavy-Duty Electrification: Constructive Developments
It is not only the on-road transport sector that is looking for solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Indeed, operators of non-road mobile machinery in the construction, mining, and agricultural sectors must also decarbonize if companies and countries are to meet their net zero emissions goals. IDTechEx’s report, “Electric Vehicles in Construction 2022-2042”, provides analysis of the ongoing electrification development work of key players supplying the construction machine market, including technical and economic considerations for electric powertrain deployment and forecasts for the growth of zero-emission technologies in this sector.
Key to the deployment of electric construction machines is understanding the daily duty-cycle energy demand requirement. To see widespread uptake, battery electric machines must be able to demonstrate to operators that they can deliver a full day of work. Short operational runtime and excessive downtime needed for battery recharging can greatly hinder the usefulness of electric machines versus existing diesel models.
Volvo Construction Equipment have already committed to move its entire range of compact wheel loaders and compact excavators to electric powertrains. However, zero-emission solutions are also required for larger construction machines. This makes the greatest contribution to the sector’s total CO2 emission.
Electrification was a clear trend at October’s BAUMA trade fair in Munich, with OEMs including Caterpillar, Bobcat, Mecalac, Wacker Neuson, and Kubota all unveiling new electric machines. IDTechEx expect to see strong continued progress in construction machine electrification in 2023.
If on-site pilot tests by construction firms can demonstrate the necessary performance, demand for electric machines will only grow. This is due to other co-benefits of the technology, such as quieter operation, lower vibration, and improved on-site air quality becoming obvious to operators.
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