Barb Samardzich, Vice President, Product Development Ford of Europe said at IAA 2013 that despite a strong interest in electric vehicles, the purchase cost is still a strong factor for slow market penetration. Indeed, “in Europe, for regular vs. electrified vehicles if equally priced, the interest in electrification is 66%. It drops steeply to 18% if there is a 4-year fuel economy payback period for the technology”.
According to Barb Samardzich, all stakeholders need to work together. In the near future, volume of electrified vehicles will increase, but predominantly from HEV and PHEV. BEV will take longer to reach significant market uptake. There is also a need to have integrated traffic systems in urban areas to assure mobility in the future.
Smart systems are also very much needed as electric vehicles will play an important role in building energy management systems, especially with renewable energies, according to Dr. Urban Keussen, E-ON.
The analysis from Roland Berger consultants shows that the EV market passed the peak of its hype in mid-2010 before staying close to 3 years in consolidation phase with many players leaving the market. However, the maturation phase started, and sustainable business models have emerged, with more and more electric vehicles being available on the market.
Li-ion technology will be the main driver
Regarding batteries, Prof. Dr. Werner Tillmetz from Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung (ZSW) highlights that 95% of worldwide Li-ion batteries are supplied by Japan (41%), Korea (36%) and China (18%). Dr. Tillmetz detailed the core competencies in Li-ion technology summarised in the graph below:
At the IAA side event, he highlighted the need of developing strong competences in Li-ion technology for creating competitive drivetrains in the future.
Suppliers are ready for all configurations
Continental’s presentation was particularly interesting as it really shows that suppliers are ready, with comprehensive solutions for start-stop systems, mild hybrids, full hybrids, parallel or series PHEVs and BEVs.
Each of the solution brings different advantages in terms of cost efficiency or CO2 savings, but the main focus is always to fulfill both customer needs and OEMs requirements.
However, Ralf Schmid from Continental asked for clearer political framework to improve the solutions and make them more cost-competitive.