IDTechEx reports on five key technology trends for the electric car of tomorrow

BOSTON, November 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The automotive sector is the largest transportation sector, with some 80 to 90 million cars sold each year worldwide. Indeed, a global fleet of approximately 1.1 billion cars on the road contributes the most to road emissions, leading the sector to become a natural focal point for green policymakers.

While electric car projects date back a hundred years, electric car markets as we know them today have been growing since around 2011. In 20 years, IDTechEx predicts that electric cars will generate 76% of all global revenue. electronic transportation. Due to their sheer scale, automotive markets create the greatest opportunities for players in the electric vehicle supply chain, from advanced materials and batteries to power electronics and electric motors. Additionally, they are driving the rapid pace of innovation that is enabling electrification in other transportation sectors, whether in technology, regulation, or business models.

To learn more, the new IDTechEx report, “Electric Cars 2023-2043”, provides a deep dive into future automotive markets with granular long-term forecasts. Regional coverage includes United States, China, NorwayGreat Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, and grip. Technology coverage includes battery electric (BEV), hybrid (PHEV and HEV) and fuel cell (FCEV) cars; autonomous vehicles (L2, L3, L4); Li-ion batteries (NMC, NCA, LFP, silicon, semiconductors); electric motors (PM, WRSM, ACIM, Axial-flux, In-wheel); power electronics (SiC, Si IGBT) and more. In the following article, IDTechEx describes the main trends of the technology chapters covered in this report.

Advanced Li-ion battery cells and packs

Li-ion batteries based on graphite anodes and oxide layer cathodes (NMC, NCA) have come to dominate much of the electric vehicle markets. However, as they begin to reach their performance limits and environmental and supply risks are highlighted, improvements and alternatives to Li-ion batteries are becoming increasingly important.

Advanced Li-ion refers to silicon and Li-metal anodes, solid electrolytes, high Ni cathodes, as well as various cell design factors. Given the importance of the electric vehicle market, especially battery electric cars, in determining the demand for batteries, Li-ion is expected to maintain its dominant position. However, incremental improvements in cathodes, anodes, cell design and energy density are essential. The IDTechEx report reveals that up to 400 Wh per kg of battery cells will be present in consumer markets by 2030.

Innovation also takes place at pack level. Several different materials are required to assemble a battery, including thermal interface materials, adhesives, gaskets, impregnation, potting, fillers, etc. A general trend towards larger cell form factors and non-modular cell-to-pack battery designs is underway, which will reduce the number of connections, busbars and cables between cells and modules.

Power electronics

In automotive power electronics (inverters, on-board chargers, DC-DC converters), key advances are being made to improve powertrain efficiency, allowing either reduced battery capacity or improved range. One of the main ways to achieve greater efficiency is the transition to silicon carbide MOSFETs and high voltage vehicle platforms at 800 V or more. Indeed, Renault, BYD, GM, Hyundai and others have announced 800V vehicle platforms that will adopt silicon carbide MOSFETs in their power electronics through 2025.

The transition presents new challenges for power module package materials as higher switching frequencies, increased power densities and increased operating temperatures are demanded, while maintaining a 15-year lifespan. The report reveals that 800V platforms and SiC inverters will reach at least 10% of the market by 2030. As the power density of semiconductor chips increases exponentially, new dual-sided cooling designs, copper wire bonds and connection frames will allow the trend.

electric motors

Electric motor markets are still evolving today with new designs improving power and torque density and more considerations around the materials used. These aren’t just incremental improvements either, with developments such as axial flux motors and various OEMs eliminating rare earths altogether.

There are several key performance parameters for electric motors. The power and torque density allow for improved driving dynamics in a smaller and lighter package, with weight and space being at a premium in electric vehicles. Another critical area is drive cycle efficiency. Improved efficiency means less valuable energy stored in the battery is wasted when accelerating the vehicle, leading to better range from the same battery capacity. Due to the many different considerations in motor design, the EV market has embraced several different solutions including permanent magnet, induction, and wound rotor motors.

The report reveals that while motors will remain dominated by permanent magnets, there will be opportunities for magnetless variants as cost and durability will be at the forefront in the years to come.

Fuel tanks

Opportunities for fuel cells in automotive markets are limited, although markets continue to grow, bolstered by government support. The deployment of fuel cells in vehicles is not a new concept. Major OEMs including Toyota, Ford, Honda, GM, Hyundai, Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW have invested significant sums over the past 30 years to advance the technology. For passenger cars, huge effort and expense has gone into developing fuel cells, but in 2022 only two major OEMs, Toyota and Hyundai, have FCEV cars in production, and less than 20,000 FCEVs have been sold. in 2021.

Fuel cell vehicle deployments face significant challenges, including reducing the cost of fuel cell system components and deploying sufficient hydrogen fueling infrastructure. The availability of low-cost “green” hydrogen, produced by the electrolysis of water using renewable electricity, will also be essential. Analysis of the new IDTechEx report highlights that it will be vital for FCEVs to deliver the environmental credentials on which they are sold.

Autonomy

“Autonomous Vehicle” (AV) is an umbrella term for the six levels defined by the SAE. Most new cars today come with the option of Tier 2 functionality, and the industry is technically ready for Tier 3 once regulatory hurdles are removed.

In recent years, vast improvements in autonomous vehicle technologies such as radar, lidar, HD cameras, and software have propelled robotaxis to the cusp of commercialization. In fact, in some scenarios, Level 4 autonomy is (arguably) now commercially available in 2022, with Cruise and Baidu introducing the first services in the US and China, respectively. IDTechEx forecasts reveal how these services will dominate in the next 20 years. Overall, the report reveals that autonomous vehicles will become a hugely disruptive technology that will grow rapidly at a rate of up to 47% to transform the automotive market over the next two decades.

To learn more about the IDTechEx “Electric Cars 2023-2043” report, including sample downloadable pages, please visit www.IDTechEx.com/cars.

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This research is part of IDTechEx’s broader electric vehicle and energy storage portfolio, which tracks electric vehicle adoption, battery trends and demand on land, sea and air, helping you navigate everything what awaits you. To learn more, visit www.IDTechEx.com/Research/EV.

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IDTechEx guides your strategic business decisions through its research, subscription and advisory products, helping you take advantage of emerging technologies. for more information contact [email protected] or visit www.IDTechEx.com.

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