Introducing new electric vehicles
As part of the launch of ESI Automotive, we spoke to Chris Klok, director – vehicle electrification technology, to find out more about their involvement with electric vehicles (EVs), and what customers can expect from the offering of ESI Automotive.
Can you summarize ESI Automotive’s offering in EVs?
We produce materials that aid in increasing the range, power efficiency and reliability of EVs - mainly in the electronics area. More specifically, they are solutions that use PCB and other substrates for semi-conductors and connectors. In the long run, by making vehicles more efficient, we can use less batteries, which ultimately reduces vehicle manufacturing costs.
How will the new division meet customers’ needs?
We have a long history of providing knowledge and data to OEMs and Tier 1 teams throughout the automotive industry. By sharing this knowledge, customers can have confidence in our products and services across the full value chain. For example, they can come to us to help with assembly materials, advise on the use of materials for PCB or connector production. Customers can rely on us to have the knowledge on both sides of these technologies.
How does your knowledge of the whole supply chain help customers?
With electronics products, everything is connected – through both circuitry and assembly. We are unique because we have products and materials for every step of the production process. This allows customers to have a single information point in the automotive market – whether they are OEM or Tier 1.
Why is it the right time to launch the new EV offering?
Launching the division allows us to work with OEMs and Tier 1s from the very start of the process. The EV market is growing at a fast pace and being in contact with customers from the design level is important to be able to meet their growing needs for next-generation vehicles – from both the substrate technology and assembly point of view.
What makes ESI Automotive’s EV offering different from its competitors?
Providing a combination of plating and assembly alongside surface finishing solutions makes us unique in the market. All these elements are crucial to the development of EVs and having expert knowledge throughout the supply chain allows us to offer this complete package to customers.
How will the new division help to meet trends in the market?
Our knowledge of the automotive sector means we can stay up-to-date with the latest trends in the industry. For example, the industry is looking at using silicon carbide to replace silicon on EVs, which allows for increased energy efficiency, but this needs alternative assembly materials and that is where we can offer solutions. As more and more OEMs are moving from buying to making power electronic components, we can help them on their journey.
ESI Automotive produces materials that aid in increasing the range, power efficiency and reliability of Electric Vehicles."
How is recent legislation affecting the EV market?
A combination of legislation and battery advancements will continue to drive growth in the EV market. For example, in Europe, a possible move from the Euro 6 to Euro 7 emissions standard in the future will make it almost impossible to use the traditional internal combustion engine model. Innovation in batteries also has a big influence on the market, as companies look for an improved or an effective alternative to lithium-ion, while still maintaining the same – or improved - power.
Does sustainability form a large part of new product development?
Sustainability is a derivative of our new product development, as we aim to create a more reliable and efficient solutions for circuitry and assembly. We are already working to make EVs more efficient, more reliable, and provide more power and reach, and we’re continuing these efforts with reliability and efficiency in mind. For EVs, this could result in the use of fewer batteries or extended range, which is an industry-wide challenge. If this happens, we could reach a point where EVs become cheaper to run than a vehicle with an internal combustion engine.
What is the outlook for the EV market?
EVs are currently a huge area for investment. Recent figures reflect this, with almost a quarter of the vehicles being manufactured on the global market expected to be non ICE (internal combustion engine) by 2024. This is due to several factors, including the drive to achieve carbon dioxide reduction targets across the world and recent legislation, including the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) approvals that were implemented in 2017. People also want innovative technology at their fingertips. Added to this, as the price inflection point of batteries gets lower, the cost-effectiveness of EVs becomes higher.
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