Business Opportunities for Lightweight Electric Vehicles
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Business Opportunities for Lightweight Electric Vehicles

With the global electric vehicle market, the speed of research and development of new electric vehicles has been accelerated, and the density of charging stations has been continuously increased. Under the booming development, when consumers buy electric vehicles, they hope to enjoy the convenience of battery as the existing internal combustion engine vehicles that enjoy the relatively high density of gas stations, and the short single refueling time. Don't want to spend too much unnecessary effort of "power charging".
Published: Jun 29, 2022
Business Opportunities for Lightweight Electric Vehicles

The competition in the electric vehicle market is becoming more and more intense, the farther you can run on a single charge, the better


Therefore, those car manufacturers that can truly achieve and satisfy the requirements of "high density of charging stations and convenient power replenishment", "fast charging speed and less time-consuming to replenish kinetic energy sources" are the car manufacturers that consumers care about most when purchasing electric vehicles. , When potential customers are willing to buy an electric car to meet the convenience needs of "travel", they will naturally choose these car manufacturers that are most considerate to consumers to place an order for a car.

At the same time, in addition to the high density of charging stations and fast charging speed, which is conducive to the expansion of the overall electric vehicle market, the "lightweight" of vehicles can also help "extend the driving distance after a single charge", which is conducive to improving consumers' driving electric vehicles. The convenience of mobility does not require a short period of time, that is, due to the weight of the body, it is impossible to travel a long distance, so frequent charging is necessary, which increases consumers' willingness to buy electric vehicles, which is also conducive to the continuous expansion of the production and sales of electric vehicles in the global market.

The "lightweight" transformation and upgrade of an electric vehicle can be achieved through the transformation process of reducing the weight of "body", "battery", "interior", "chassis", etc., so the electric vehicle can be further extended. "Driving distance after a single charge" is naturally conducive to increasing consumers' willingness to buy a car.

Due to the current mainstream car manufacturing methods in the world, based on factors such as manufacturing cost, safety, and appearance shaping, most of them use metal raw materials with relatively low processing costs but heavier weight. Therefore, in order to achieve the goal of "reducing the weight of the car body", it is necessary to change the mainstream and relatively heavy metal raw materials used in the manufacture of car bodies - galvanized steel sheets and steel pipes, and further change to lighter aluminum alloys and ultra-high-strength metal materials. Steel, glass fiber, carbon fiber, and even advanced plastics and composite materials that are high-tech, light in weight, and have the same resistance to stress and deformation can be used as alternative materials for building the overall body, roof, front and rear fenders, and hood. It does achieve the purpose of "reducing the weight of the car".

According to the report of the American Institute of Aluminum, the car body uses 0.45 kilograms of aluminum can reduce the weight of a car by 1 kilogram. Theoretically, aluminum cars can reduce weight by as much as 40% compared to steel cars. For a car weighing 1300kg, if the weight of the car can be reduced by 10%, the fuel consumption can be reduced by 8%.

Magnesium alloys are more commonly used to manufacture cylinder blocks, cylinder heads, intake manifolds, instrument panel skeletons, steering wheels, transmission housings, wheel hubs, body parts, door frames, etc. The total amount of magnesium alloys in a car is about 5.8 kilograms to 26.3 kilograms.

At present, titanium and titanium alloys can be used to manufacture chassis parts, engine intake and exhaust system components, crankshaft connecting rod mechanisms, such as connecting rods, valves, valve springs, camshafts, etc. In addition, titanium alloy sheets and pipes can still be used to manufacture mufflers and wheels (frames). The application scope of titanium alloy materials in vehicle manufacturing has gradually expanded from the field of racing cars to industrialized and mass-produced cars.

Ultra-high-strength steel, which can be used to manufacture most of the body parts of a car. No matter from the perspective of cost or from the perspective of performance improvement, high-strength steel plate is currently the best metal material that can meet the requirements of lightening the car body and improve the safety of collision protection. It is expected that the use of high-strength steel will increase day by day in order to adapt to and comply with the stricter vehicle safety regulations in various countries in the future.

The strength of boron alloy ultra-high strength steel can reach 1500 MPa, which is five times that of aluminum alloy, but its density is only three times that of aluminum alloy, so the weight reduction benefit (should) be better than that of aluminum alloy. For example, if the weight of the all-aluminum alloy body can be reduced by 30%, the boron alloy steel can reduce the weight of the body by 33%, but the car manufacturing cost is reduced by 30% compared with the aluminum body. The collision safety level is advanced to the highest level, which can meet the dual requirements of the vehicle for light weight and safety at the same time.

When the thickness of the steel plate is reduced by 0.05, 0.10 and 0.15 mm respectively, the body weight can be reduced by 6%, 12% and 18% respectively. Using more advanced high-strength steel to build vehicles can not only effectively increase safety, but also further reduce cabin noise and vibration discomfort, while also reducing the total weight of the vehicle and improving fuel efficiency. It does not increase the cost, but it can improve the acceleration and drivability application benefits.

Advanced composite material lightweight interior can further reduce the weight of the car body and interior


Plastic and its composite materials are another important lightweight material for automobiles, which can reduce the weight of components by about 40%. Compared with the general plastics used in the existing general car manufacturing, engineering plastics have the characteristics of heat resistance, wear resistance, chemical resistance, dimensional stability, excellent mechanical properties, etc.) type consumes less energy.

Since the 1970s, plastics such as foams, cushioning materials, and cushions made of flexible PVC and polyurethane plasticized materials have been widely used in the mainstream automotive industry around the world. The LTD test car developed by Ford Motor has achieved remarkable results in lightening the body after plasticization, and the weight of the whole vehicle has been reduced by more than 300 kilograms.

Composite materials are mainly used in the exterior covering parts and sheet parts of the body, such as: fenders, doors, roof panels, engine hoods, fairings, rear compartment partitions, etc., and even the body is made of all-composite materials. The made sedan appeared.

The scope of application of plastics in the automotive manufacturing process is gradually expanding from interior parts to body, structural parts, and exterior sheet parts. In the future, the key development direction of car body application is to expand and accelerate the development of high-performance resin materials and reinforced plastic composite materials for plastics, structural parts, and exterior parts, and will pay more attention to the recyclability of car-making materials to improve environmental benefits.

On the other hand, in terms of the advantages and application prospects of different raw materials, polyolefin materials are expected to grow significantly due to their low density, good performance and low cost. It is estimated that polypropylene and polyvinyl chloride will maintain an annual growth rate of 8% and 4% respectively in the future.

On the other hand, through the use of light-weight cloth and plastic materials, as the vehicle interior, seats, center console, headliner, side door trim, rear compartment divider, etc., different body "interior" It can also achieve a "lightweight" effect of "reducing the weight of the body" to a certain extent.

In addition, reducing the weight of the "battery" also helps to reduce the weight of the car body and extend the driving distance after a single charge. The energy density of existing electric vehicle power batteries is still not high, and there is still room for improvement. Compared with traditional fuel vehicles, the power system of electric vehicles (mainly based on batteries) usually accounts for 30% to 40% of the total vehicle weight, generally reaching 500 to 800 kilograms. Therefore, by using more active battery positive and negative materials, or reducing the thickness of the battery separator to increase the energy density of lithium batteries, the amount of power lithium batteries can be reduced, which will naturally help reduce vehicle weight and extend battery life for distance traveled after a single charge.

In addition to reducing the weight of the "body", "interior", etc., which can achieve the purpose of lightweight transformation of the whole vehicle, reducing the weight of the "shock absorber spring" can also help reduce the overall weight of the vehicle. It is beneficial to reduce the "rear drag resistance" when the vehicle is running, which helps to reduce the kinetic energy consumption of the battery when the vehicle is running, and naturally also helps to extend the driving distance of the electric vehicle on a single charge, reducing the need for drivers and passengers to stop and wait in the middle of the journey. Decrease the inconvenient number of times to fully charge electricity will naturally help to expand the overall electric vehicle market.

Published by Jun 29, 2022 Source :Moneyweekly Publishing

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