The future of electromobility

Insights, forecasts, opinions

Where does the current of opinions flow with respect to electromobility? An interactive presentation at this year's "Connected by Excellence" provided an overview of further developments in electromobility and insights into the opinions of representatives and experts in the industry.

At the click of your mouse: Please let us know what you think! "Connected by Excellence“ is an important symposium for customers of the voestalpine Steel Division. The symposium addresses highly relevant topics that are discussed in depth and presents developments and solutions in a very meaningful way. This year's highlight was a lecture entitled “Orchestrating Light Electrical Mobility" by Peter Heinzl (Head of Sales, Automotive Industry) and Christian Schreiner (Head of Sales, Electrical Industry). A voting app was used on the cell phones of participants (representatives of OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers and experts from the the steel, electrical and electromobility industries) to share their opinions.

If you were unable to attend the event, the newsletter provides you with the opportunity to vote now.

Are the forecasts correct? Will the number of electric cars explode? According to current forecasts, the global sales volume of electric and hybrid vehicles (BEV, PHEV) will increase from 3.5 million in 2017 to 37.4 million by 2027. Participants in "Orchestrating Light Electrical Mobility" agree, as shown by the graph on the left. More than half of those present agreed: The numbers are correct or even too low. Sales of electric cars are expected to explode.

Electromobility survey results

What material will the electric car bodies of the future be made of? Here there was clear agreement in votes for high-strength steel grades above 600 MPa. A trend toward aluminum or carbon-fiber-reinforced plastics is not apparent, a fact that is also confirmed by a study of Forschungsgesellschaft Kraftfahrwesen Aachen, FKA, in which battery costs are compared with the costs of lightweight construction, here expressed in euros per kilogram of weight reduction.

The study shows that a steel-based mixed configuration is the most sensible for an electric car with a range of 400 kilometers and battery system cost of 200 euros. Reducing battery cost automatically leads to a greater probability of considering cost-efficient, high-strength lightweight steel solutions for all distance ranges. Intelligent steel solutions are the first choice for many OEMs, and steel grades with strengths below 600 MPa will also play an important role.

Steel remains the first choice for body contstruction
Steel remains the first choice for body contstruction

Will there be a shortage of electrical steel in Europe? As you can see, the opinions vary here as well. voestalpine is working hard to ensure that safe and innovative electrical steel is available to manufacturers. Innovations such as isovac®, the electrical steel of voestalpine, coated with Backlack, are setting new standards in the design and properties of electric motors, but also in the serial production of core laminations.

Who will be building the electric motors of the future? Is it surprising that OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers disagree on the question of who will be the main producers of electric motors in the future. Among the OEMs, 63% believe they will be the producers, while 83% of Tier 1 suppliers see electric motor manufacturing as an important part of their portfolio. An exciting development!

No question about it: voestalpine will remain a strong driver of innovation. In any case, the future strategy of voestalpine in the area of electromobility is clear. Innovation and partnership are the central parameters for advancing further developments. The focus is on innovations in high-strength steels for cold and hot forming and on electrical steel. Here voestalpine wants and will continue to push the limits of what is possible, working in partnership with the automotive industry, for example, to achieve breakthroughs in the joining and welding of ultra-high-strength steels.

What is your opinion? Are you in agreement with the results, or do you see it differently? Add your vote: