Alternative Energy Technologies Are Fueling a New Era in Electric Vehicles
Originally posted on Celestica Blog
Bloomberg-NEF’s Electric Vehicle Outlook predicts that vehicle manufacturers will offer a combined 500 different electric vehicle (EV) models by 2022. They’re prioritizing EV development to meet the growing demand driven by government policies and consumers worldwide striving to meet the Paris Climate Accord’s aggressive goals of cutting CO2 emissions in half by 2030 and eliminating them entirely by 2050.
Whether manufacturers are building electric cars, delivery vans, city buses, or long-haul tractor-trailers, the challenge is the same: improving driving range and power management while reducing environmental impact. That’s not to say manufacturers haven’t already made substantial progress across all three areas.
Their electrification strategies all involve the use of an electric motor to either enhance a gasoline engine’s efficiency or power, or to fully power the car. The use of electronics in the vehicle can add variable drive control to components as diverse as oil pumps, thermal, and battery management solutions. This helps improve power management and efficiency to reduce gas consumption and emissions.
The latest ‘under the hood’ innovations are complex power electronics systems that include inverters, DC/DC power converters, on-board charging, power steering modules, a network of sensors, and the underlying communications and battery management systems, which power today’s hybrid and full electric powertrains.
Manufacturers are also making remarkable progress in developing batteries that will enable long-range driving and eliminate so-called ‘range anxiety.’
The solid state battery technology that promises greater energy density and increased range can be mass produced in only a few years by OEMs such as Toyota, Geely and BYD. At CES 2021, GM revealed its new Ultimum battery with a wireless battery management system. This combination enables robust, scalable battery solutions while reducing weight. These advances allow cars to deliver cutting-edge performance, safety, and reliability.
Auto companies and technology providers are experts in identifying and developing these new innovations to help meet the growing demand for electric vehicles. Their manufacturing and engineering teams are focused on growth initiatives that drive the most value. They still need engineering, industrialization, testing, manufacturing support to bring these complex products to market at the right cost and quality points.
DESIGN, DEVELOP, DELIVER
Designing, manufacturing and delivering high-reliability products is Celestica’s core offering. Our teams have more than 20 years of experience in complex power electronics systems and bring a rich history of proven leadership to power-based on-vehicle products and technologies. Engaging early in the product development phase is the most effective way to design, test, launch, and deliver high-quality products to market faster and at a competitive cost.
Efficient power management in a variety of form factors that work reliably in real world conditions are critical in these environments. We develop manufacturing processes, including the latest advancements in miniaturization and ruggedized design. This allows us to reduce the product or component footprint without reducing power, reliability, or lifespan. This experience also ensures we can protect and mitigate the impact of vehicle vibrations and shock, harsh weather conditions, and exposure to moisture and contaminants, including road salts, oil, and other fluids on the product.
The work that our customers and Celestica put into designing, testing, building, and delivering these cutting-edge power electronics and systems is ushering the world into a mobility renaissance. Automakers use the alternative energy technologies to turn their blueprints for their hybrid and fully electric vehicles into the newest models that will roll off their assembly lines in 2021 and beyond. There is no room for error from a safety point of view as these new products enter the market. Automotive quality processes are crucial to fulfill increasing requirements in functional safety per ISO 26262.
Reliable component sourcing is also key – taking into account the impact of lead times, materials availability and obsolescence of key parts. Celestica’s engineering and supply chain teams leverage global supplier relationships to identify qualified suppliers and adapt manufacturing processes to IATF 16949 as well as APQP and PPAP processes to meet the stringent automotive quality standards.
Recently, a global automotive Tier 1 supplier asked Celestica to apply our engineering experience to support their design efforts as well as drive the launch of a specialized product for hybrid vehicles on an aggressive timeline. Our engineering team performed Dfx (design for x) to improve product manufacturability, testability, reliability, automated assembly processes and supply chain robustness. Celestica led the production process development, manufacturing test strategy, and production automation solutions to ensure the product will meet the highest quality standards while withstanding the extreme environmental conditions. These include frequent thermal cycling, high temperature operation, and constant vibrations.
Our experience and specialized expertise across various Industrial and Smart Energy markets position us as the trusted partner to help our customers deliver the products and solutions for this exciting new era.