The time when electric vehicles (EVs) were seen as pet projects that would someday come of age and go mainstream are long gone. In its place is a mad rush to develop EVs across numerous different vehicle categories—from small passenger cars to huge tractor trailers, and all points in between. Automakers across the board are involved in the push, which is driving up expectations about just how many EVs will be on the road and operating within the next few years.
Some distributors say their sales to the automotive supply chain are rising because of semiconductor shortages, rising electronic content in cars and the trend towards electric vehicles. Automotive represents a small percentage of electronics distributors’ overall sales, but distributors say there has been a sharp increase in demand by automakers and their key systems suppliers and contract manufacturers fueled by severe shortages of some semiconductors.
This column is an overview of key driving forces that are changing automotive electronics systems.The figure below summarizes my views of the most important technologies changing automotive technologies. I used an earlier version of this figure during my keynote speech at the EE Times’ virtual conference called Roadmap to Next-Gen EV & AV. All conference presentations and exhibitor information are now available on demand. My presentation was on March 24, 2021. If you want to see and listen to my presentation this link will get you to the registration page.
The automotive industry is in a quandary, faced with an ongoing chip shortage that is forcing OEMs to temporarily cut production and update financial and volume trajectories, demonstrating the potential to be a problem for the length of 2021, according to Phil Amsrud, senior principal analyst for automotive at IHS Markit.
Semiconductor executive Tom Caulfield knew a crisis was brewing when he started getting frantic calls from big automakers just before Christmas.“Tom, you’re killing me. You need to make more,” Caulfield, the chief executive of chipmaker GlobalFoundries, recalls the auto executives saying. “Ford, Volkswagen, BMW, Daimler-Benz, Fiat Chrysler, GM — every one of them became my new best friends.”
The coronavirus may have slowed down a lot of industries but the race for widespread adoption of electrified vehicles—such as the plug-in-hybrid vehicle (PHEV), hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), and electric vehicle (EV)—remains underway. Even as the pandemic has brought the world to a standstill, leading automakers remain committed to their vehicle electrification plans. In fact, the automotive industry is charging forward to introduce approximately 600 electrified vehicles through 2025, according to McKinsey & Company.
When COVID-19 caused carmakers to shut down plants around the globe last spring, few envisioned the fourth quarter 2020 jump in sales of cars and auto-related semiconductors.Lately, some North American carmakers are even reporting a chip shortage that has been seen elsewhere around the globe, cutting into their production. Ford Motor Co. is planning to idle a Louisville, Kentucky, SUV assembly facility for a week because of limited supplies of chips used in displays and transmissions, forcing a temporary layoff of 3,900 workers, according to recent reports, including one from Reuters. Fiat Chrysler is also idling its Brampton facility in Ontario, Canada.
Is Apple really planning to produce an iCar? Probably.According to a report from Reuters, Apple is targeting production of a passenger car starting in 2024. Rumors of the “iCar”, also known as Project Titan, have been circulating and recirculating for years, but its time may have finally come. Let’s look at that idea in more detail.
The Boston-based joint venture between self-driving vehicle company Aptiv and Hyundai Motor Group is ramping up hiring in Boston, saying that the pandemic spurs a renovated interest in autonomous means of transportation.
There are an estimated 1.4 billion cars on the road globally, and about 5.1 million of them are electric vehicles (EV). Even though only one-third of one percent of all consumer vehicles use EV technology, some of the most innovative companies in the global economy are EV manufacturers. Does the future promise fully electric semi-trucks, cars, and motorcycles? The next generation of EVs may revolutionize the world of transportation.
Milwaukee-based motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson recently announced “an overhaul of its global operating model, including a leaner, more nimble organization.” The plan, dubbed The Rewire, will result in the elimination of 700 positions across the company’s global operations. According to a statement from the company, approximately 500 employees are expected to exit the organization by the end of the year.
The automotive power electronics market is projected to grow from $ 3.8 billion in 2020 to $4.7 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 4.7 per cent as per a report by MarketsandMarkets. The report said that increasing electronics content inside the vehicle for the operation of specific vehicle applications and government mandates related to carbon emissions and vehicle safety are crucial factors that will fuel the market growth. Developments in the power converters of the electric vehicle is also another factor that will drive the automotive power electronics market.