The Slow and Steady Rise of Electric VehiclesPosted On: 10-09-2018 By: Katherine Eveland
Article written by: Philip Radbourne
If you track the latest development around Electric Vehicle (EV), you would think that the market evolves around how many hours’ co-founder and CEO of Tesla Motors Elon Musk is spending at his main car plant in California. Reports suggest that he works more than 120 hours per week. His aim is to help increase production levels of the Model 3 sedan to more than 6,000 per week. The new Tesla Model 3 must compete with a range of cars including the 2014 BMWi3 and the 2017 Chevy Bolt. What is clear, is that the average price of a new EVs must fall, particularly battery costs for it to take off in the broader mass market.
Yet, despite high costs of production, and high selling price, worldwide EV sales hit the one million mark for the first time in 2017. All the data is showing that the slow and steady electric vehicle revolution is gathering pace. Bloomberg NEF has just reported that global sales of electric vehicles (EVs) reached 411,000 in Q2 2018. China alone saw EV sales reach 225,000 units, greater than the rest of the world combined. Europe accounted for 22% of EV sales and North America 19%. China currently accounts for 40% of total investments in EVs. China is offering generous incentives to EV car makers. Of the top 20 EV manufacturers, nine have headquarters in China, and only three in the USA. There are clearly teething problems, in this emerging market. As we mentioned, Tesla is struggling to ramp up production of its latest models, and Ford has just recalled 50,000 charging cables delivered with its electric vehicles due to fire risk.
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Looking forward, low or no-carbon vehicles will dominate the transport sector by 2040. China has joined the UK, France, Norway and India in pledging to phase out the use of gas-powered vehicles in the coming decades. Exxon, BP and OPEC project surging demand for electric vehicles out to 2040, and the most aggressive market outlook shows EVs making up over 30% of the entire global vehicle fleet by 2040. Ford, GM and Toyota are all adapting their production accordingly, indicative of the larger global shift toward EVs.
In an important development in Europe, BMW is preparing to launch its next generation of electric vehicles and announced its first EV factory greenfield car plant at Debrecen in Hungary. It will have the capacity can 150,000 units per year. The company has confirmed that it is adding electric powertrain technology and capacity to all its car factories worldwide. BMW plans to make sure that all its future car plants in Europe are equipped with the capacity to manufacture both combustion (ICE) and electrified BMW models.
As an interesting aside, Hungary is becoming an important hub for electric vehicles. SK innovation is building a new electric car factory in Hungary, and Samsung is looking at a new EV car battery operation in the country. Audi is going to start electric motor axle production for its E-Tron Quattro. The electric motors produced in Győr will offer new features. It will have an impact on enamelled wire demand in Hungary, because the aim is to get as much thin gauge enamelled copper wire into the casing as possible, providing more efficient power delivery.
Given that the USA government is now rolling back fuel-efficiency regulations, and encouraging car makers to build outdated vehicles as they had been back in the 1990s. This is clearly going to be a great break for the European car makers who will be able to gain a step up on their North American rivals over the next decade and continue to design and build more efficient and cleaner running cars, with ever more complex batteries and electric motors through 2040.
For in-depth analysis on the automotive cable market from cable production through to use in OEMs see Integer Research’s latest Focus Report: The Market for Automotive Cable. Visit www.integer-research.com/autocable for more information.
Automotive Cable Market Webinar
Philip Radbourne, Director of Wire & Cable, will be hosting a webinar which will discuss:
- Trends in the electric vehicle market
- The electrification of powertrain
- Increased functions – break assist, steer assist, increased navigational assistance
- Key trends in wiring harness with a focus on materials and design
- Insight from our latest Focus Report: The Market for Automotive Cable
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Date: 26 September 2018
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Use this report to:
- Forecast automotive cable consumption by region and by OEM to 2022, including splits by cable type (T1-T2, T3-T6, Battery Cables, HEV)
- Identify trends in new technologies and specifications affecting demand
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Integer is the leading provider of specialist economic and financial analysis, market forecast, strategy and bench-marking information to the global wire & cable industry.
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The Integer Research analyst team speak at and attend key industry events every year, including conferences and training sessions run by Europacable, International Cablemakers Federation (ICF), Arab Cable Manufactures Association (Arabcab), Niehoff Open House, Interwire, Metal Bulletin Copper Conference, CabWire and more.
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