Electrification of the Automobile

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February 19, 2019

Electrification of the Automobile

Top 4 Reasons Why EVs are Soon to Take Over

The electrification of the automobile has been one of the most innovative and disruptive changes that the automotive industry has seen in decades. As it is still ongoing in advancements, it is hard to predict the impact across industries with this new technology. However, some of the indicators that Electric Vehicles show signs that the industry is about to take off. These indicators include the growing global market value, environmentalism, barriers breaking, and functionality increasing to the needs and concerns of consumers. The heavy investments being made in technology, capital, awareness, and infrastructure are all factors to consider when contemplating where the EV industry is going.

1. Growing Market

According to a recent report from Allied Market Research, the Global Electric Vehicle Market was recently valued at close to $119 million with an expected growth to around $567 million by 2030. The reasons for this growth projection are centered around rising consumer awareness to the market, growing innovations and research being made by manufacturers and engineers in the industry, increased concern for environmental impacts, infrastructure being invested in and built, and the reduction of the cost to switch from gas-powered vehicles to electric. The electrification of the mechanical functions has started to grab the attention of consumers everywhere, as they have seen increases in performance, efficiency, and connectivity. Starting with Bluetooth and safety sensors, the car has now become a more safe, reliable, and technologically capable consumer product. Some of the attractive new possibilities for the engineering of an automobile gaining consumer attention include autonomy, personal recognition features, innovative safety sensors in the inside and outside of the vehicle. However, people are still hesitant to switch due to charging periods, battery life, and lack of infrastructure. To combat this, auto manufacturers and engineer firms have invested in research and development to increase battery performance and charge-ability while also designing and building a reliable and convenient infrastructure grid to compete with the gas and oil industry. Along with increased support and ease of use, gas prices have been steadily increasing to unattractive levels, making cost-considerate consumers more willing to make the switch.

2. Changing to Green

As we enter the age of an environmentally conscious society, companies and developments have become more and more aware of the consumer demand for corporate social and environmental responsibility. Advancements in the electronics industry have now made it possible to not only be more conscious of business impact to the environment in operations, but the product and services themselves are becoming more “green”. Gas is a fossil fuel that not only is a non-renewable resource, but when used to fuel vehicles and other machinery, the impact to the environment is astronomical. Although the impact to the environment at the manufacturing level is the same for gas-powered vehicles and electric alike, in the long run, when emissions and gas is added to the equation, electric vehicles are more environmentally friendly as a consumer product. The reason for this is due to the fact that EVs, when operate, emit zero emissions, are light and efficient, and have a reduced need for parts and repairs.

3. Barriers Weakening

As the demand for better performance rises, auto engineers are pushing to optimize battery life, charging capabilities, and weight. According to an article by Green Car Reports, the improved performance of battery charges can be measured by comparing the 2011 Nissan Leaf and the 2017 Chevy Bolt EV, having a 75 mile range and a 238 mile range, respectively. However, improvements are expected to happen incrementally, as engineers move further in research. Another barrier that consumers are still considering is the switching cost of gas-powered transportation to electric. Compared to early models, however, EVs have come down in overall price slightly, and with the rising oil prices, the electric powered vehicles are becoming more attractive and feasible to the everyday driver. With both of these barriers breaking, heavy investments are being made in the infrastructure grid to support the usability of EVs. Tesla has to-date around 1,350 charging stations conveniently located through-out the United States, with even more to come. Other Auto Makers are starting to fund programs to decrease the time it takes to charge batteries and making other options, such as switching out the battery at stations, feasible for the daily user.

4. The Infinite Possibilities

Since the Model T, the automobile has made huge advances in performance, power, speed, and distance. However, engineers have been constrained in innovations by mechanical functions impacting safety and other areas of the automotive vehicle. Still, as electrification has continued to grow in other markets – such as consumer electronics and telecommunications – the automobile has finally made the leap in the rise of interconnectivity. As electrification continues to replace different mechanical functions, not only are we seeing reduced weight and emissions, but also increases in reliability, performance, speed, and feasibility of different functions. Some functions that have been made possible by electrification are autonomy, sensoring, increased visibility around the car, additional safety features including lane-switch and weight sensors for passengers, and personalization of the vehicle such as driver-recognition.

In the drive towards majority and complete electrification, Auto Manufacturers have been steadily matching pace in advances in technology and component capabilities. The Electronic Manufacturing Services (EMS) and Electronic Component industry, in turn, have made advances in electronic component processes, making electronics in the Automotive sector smaller, more reliable, and more cost-efficient. Integrated Micro-Electronics, Inc. (IMI) has not only been recently ranked as 5th largest Auto EMS provider globally, but also provides increased quality, reliability, and delivery of electronic products in the Auto sector. IMI can work with engineers during the design and development and volume production process to improve manufacturability, quality, cost, and functionality of automotive electronic products. Also, IMI has a global manufacturing footprint spreading across 9 countries housing 21 factories, giving a multitude of options to be cost-efficient and closer to consumer markets.

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