BOSTON, November 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The automotive sector is the largest transportation sector, with approximately 80-90 million cars sold annually worldwide. In fact, a global fleet of approximately 1.1 billion cars contributes the most to road emissions, making the sector a natural focus for green decision-makers.
While electric car projects are a hundred years old, electric car markets as we know them today have been growing since around 2011. IDTechEx predicts that 20 years from now, electric cars will generate 76% of all e-transportation revenue. Because of their size, automotive markets offer the greatest opportunities for players in the electric vehicle supply chain, from advanced materials to battery packs, power electronics and electric motors. In addition, they drive the rapid pace of innovation that enables electrification in other transport sectors, be it in terms of technology, regulation or business models.
To learn more, the new IDTechEx report “Electric Cars 2023-2043” offers an in-depth look at future automotive markets with detailed long-term forecasts. Regional coverage includes the US, China, Norwaythe United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, and RoW. Technology coverage includes battery electric (BEV), hybrid (PHEV & HEV) and fuel cell (FCEV) cars; autonomous vehicles (L2, L3, L4); Li-Ion Batteries (NMC, NCA, LFP, Silicon, Solid State); Electric Motors (PM, WRSM, ACIM, Axial-Flux, In-Wheel); Power electronics (SiC, Si IGBT) and more. In the following article, IDTechEx outlines the key trends from the technology chapters covered in this report.
Advanced lithium-ion battery cells and packs
Li-ion batteries based on graphite anodes and layered oxide cathodes (NMC, NCA) now dominate large parts of the electric vehicle market. However, as they reach their performance limits and environmental and supply risks become apparent, improvements and alternatives to Li-ion batteries become 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-powered electric cars, in determining battery demand, Li-Ion is expected to maintain its dominant position. However, incremental improvements in cathodes, anodes, cell design, and energy density are critical. The IDTechEx report states that by 2030 up to 400 Wh per kg of battery cells will be present in mainstream markets.
Innovations also take place at the packaging level. A variety of materials are required to assemble a battery pack, including thermal interface materials, adhesives, gaskets, impregnation, potting, fillers, and more. There is a general trend towards larger cell form factors and non-modular cell-to-pack battery designs, reducing the number of connections, busbars and cables between cells and modules.
Important advances are being made in automotive power electronics (inverters, onboard chargers, DC-DC converters) to improve powertrain efficiency, enabling either reduction in battery capacity or improved range. One of the key avenues to achieve greater efficiencies is the transition to silicon carbide MOSFETs and high voltage vehicle platforms at or above 800V. Indeed, Renault, BYD, GM, Hyundai and other 800V vehicle platforms have announced that they will use silicon carbide MOSFETs in their power electronics by 2025 will use.
The transition poses new challenges for power module packaging materials, requiring higher switching frequencies, higher power densities, and higher operating temperatures while maintaining a 15-year lifetime. The report finds that 800V platforms and SiC inverters will rise to at least 10% of the market by 2030. As the power density of semiconductor chips increases exponentially, new double-sided cooling designs, copper wire bonds, and leadframes will enable this trend.
Electric motor markets continue to evolve today, with new designs improving power and torque density and greater consideration of the materials used. These aren’t just incremental improvements either, as developments such as axial flux motors and various OEMs are eliminating rare earths entirely.
There are several important performance metrics for electric motors. The power and torque density enables improved driving dynamics in a smaller and lighter package, where weight and space are paramount in electric vehicles. Another critical area is drive cycle efficiency. The improvement in efficiency means that less precious energy from the battery is wasted when accelerating the vehicle, resulting in improved driving range with the same battery capacity. Due to the many different considerations in motor design, the EV market has introduced several different solutions including permanent magnet, induction and wound rotor motors.
The report shows that while motors will continue to be dominated by permanent magnets, there will be opportunities for magnet-free variants as cost and sustainability become more important in the coming years.
Fuel cell opportunities in the auto markets are limited, although the markets are still growing, aided by government support. The use of fuel cells in vehicles is not a new concept. Major OEMs including Toyota, Ford, Honda, GM, Hyundai, Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW have invested heavily in the advancement of the technology over the past 30 years. Huge effort and expense has gone into fuel cell development for passenger cars, but in 2022 only two major OEMs, Toyota and Hyundai, have FCEV cars in production, and fewer than 20,000 FCEVs were sold in 2021.
The deployment of fuel cell vehicles faces significant challenges, including reducing the cost of fuel cell system components and deploying sufficient hydrogen refueling infrastructure. Also essential will be the availability of low-cost “green” hydrogen produced by electrolysis of water using renewable electricity, analysis of which will be crucial in the new IDTechEx report for FCEVs to deliver the environmental credentials they are sold on.
“Autonomous Vehicle” (AV) is an umbrella term for the six levels as defined by the SAE. Today most new cars come with the option of Level 2 functionality and the industry is technically ready for Level 3 once the regulatory hurdles are cleared.
In recent years, tremendous improvements in autonomous vehicle technologies such as radar, lidar, HD cameras and software have pushed robotaxis to the brink of market maturity. In fact, in certain scenarios, Level 4 autonomy (debatable) will now be commercialized in 2022, when Cruise and Baidu will launch first services in the US and China, respectively. IDTechEx projections show how these services will dominate within 20 years. Overall, the report finds that autonomous vehicles are becoming a massively disruptive technology that will grow rapidly at a rate of up to 47% and transform the auto market over the next two decades.
To learn more about the IDTechEx Electric Cars 2023-2043 report, including downloadable sample pages, please visit www.IDTechEx.com/cars.
This research is part of IDTechEx’s broader EV and energy storage portfolio, which tracks EV adoption, battery trends and demand across land, sea and air to help you master whatever lies ahead. Learn more at www.IDTechEx.com/Research/EV.
IDTechEx guides your strategic business decisions through its research, subscription and consulting products and helps you capitalize on emerging technologies. Contact for more information [email protected] or visit www.IDTechEx.com.
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