Due to the fear of climate change, many see the electromobility as savior of modern mobility. Electrified vehicles help to comply with future limit values by reducing pollutant emissions. Visually, they hardly differ from the models with combustion engines – but there are considerable differences inside.
What are the challenges posed by electromobility?
The engineers of vehicle manufacturers and suppliers are faced with the mammoth task of mastering the generational change. The components surrounding the engines and drive technology that have been used for many decades have been continuously improved, standardized and produced in large quantities.
The essential components for the electric drive are:
• Electric machine, partly with gearbox
• Inverter as motor control
• DC-DC converter for the supply of 12 V components
• Vehicle battery
• Charger for the vehicle battery – also called on-board charger
These components are connected to each other via the on-board network of the electrified motor vehicles. The charging technology used consists of the mains-powered charger and the battery. In terms of “range anxiety”, the charging time is one of the biggest unknowns among potential e-car buyers.
What impact do developments have on other industries?
The rapid development of electrification will place new demands on charging technology in the future. To meet these requirements, increasingly compact transformers and subassemblies are being used. Developers are increasingly focusing on new semiconductor technologies such as gallium nitrides (GaN) and silicone carbides (SiC) to further increase efficiency.
New technologies in the rapidly growing mobility market create new access for adjacent industries. Electric cars are the beginning of a different logic of energy and mobility. As a result, electric mobility will become a lucrative growth market in the coming years, in which more and more companies beyond the automotive industry will participate.
The expansion of renewable energies requires intelligent grid management via additional flexible storage facilities. The batteries in electric vehicles are the ideal solution. Vehicle-to-Grid turns cars into energy storage devices. The V2G approach is based on the fact that most vehicles are parked most of the day. The charging time is usually much shorter than the service life. The charging time can therefore be adapted to the respective requirements in the power grid and the electric car can be used as a load manager. It would also be possible to feed the car back into the power grid via the charging stations. In times of weak demand, they could be charged at low cost, and at peak times they could support the grid as quickly available buffers.