The drive train of the future

Electromobility

Electromobility is more than just a passing phase. In fact, the ongoing electrification of the drive train has been in motion for quite some time. Automotive manufacturers all over the world are setting themselves ambitious targets and the race is on. The political sphere has also accelerated this process by imposing ever stricter thresholds and by offering targeted subsidies.

Regulations intended to reduce the CO2 emissions generated by road traffic are being introduced in virtually all major automotive markets around the world. Electromobility has a key role to play in complying with this legislation, as it essentially requires all vehicles to become significantly more efficient. In cooperation with the Aachen research association for automotive engineering (fka), GMH Gruppe has been taking a closer look at the markets, not only within the European Union and the USA, but also in Japan and China. With 56.57 million new car registrations in 2015 alone, these regions make up around 80 per cent of the world’s automotive market. 


So how much CO2 is still permitted?

The mass-based limits for 2015 and 2021 have already been set in a resolution passed by the European Union. The stipulation of 130 g CO2/km has been achieved as a target value by many automotive manufacturers. On the other hand, the target value of 95 g CO2/km is proving to be a major challenge for OEMs. If nothing else, the recent boom in SUVs is making life difficult for manufacturers in this regard. This trend is not only driven by consumer demand but is also heavily promoted by the manufacturers. If these targets are not met in the next three to four years, things are going to get expensive. The EU has threatened manufacturers with severe penalties for every extra gram of CO2 above the limit. Furthermore, legislative bodies are already in talks about new target values. 

Many automotive manufacturers are currently working on ways to continue improving existing drive concepts. Their objectives here are twofold. On the one hand, they are aiming to meet the requirements set by the EU. On the other hand, they want to keep their customers happy, as increasing SUV sales figures indicate a clear trend towards larger, more comfortable vehicles. 

Electromobility and other technology topics

Our streets are now home to micro-hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles. Those featuring conventional combustion engines – the micro-hybrids – currently have the greatest market relevance. When it comes to new requirements and influences on components within the drive train and its primary materials, no significant changes are expected in this sector. Nevertheless, the increase in hybridisation means that manufacturers are going to need to adjust to unavoidable changes.

As a result of the more stringent CO2 targets by 2030, manufacturers anticipate that the market relevance of plug-in hybrid vehicles is set to increase. In these vehicles, the drive power of the conventional combustor is created by an electric motor, resulting in a downsizing effect on the conventional combustion engine. So what does this development mean? The subject of lightweight construction is becoming increasingly important, although steel is maintaining its status as an essential material. Steel-forged pistons are an example of this. With their greater strength, more compact design and better heat resistance making them more efficient, they have replaced cast aluminium pistons in diesel vehicles to some extent with virtually no weight disadvantages.

One thing is certain- the future of mobility is going to involve lower emissions and less combustion. In a bid to press ahead with each of the developments involved in electromobility, various project teams within GMH Gruppe are currently working on an incredibly diverse range of scenarios and fields of application. In this way, we are already laying the foundations that will enable us - together with our customers - to actively shape the future of mobility.. Tomorrow’s efficient mobility.

The future of electromobility

The electrification of the drive train is set to continue in the coming years. In addition to the gradual tightening of legislation surrounding CO2 and pollutant emissions, the automotive industry is also pursuing ambitious targets in the race to shape the future of mobility. 

Summary

Electromobility is more than just a passing phase. In fact, the ongoing electrification of the drive train has been in motion for quite some time. Automotive manufacturers all over the world are setting themselves ambitious targets and the race is on. The political sphere has also accelerated this process by imposing ever stricter thresholds and by offering targeted subsidies.

Contact person

GMH Gruppe, Georgsmarienhuette, Thomas Wurm

Dr. Thomas Wurm

Head of Technical Customer Support and Application Development Georgsmarienhütte GmbH

Company

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Georgsmarienhütte GmbH

BU Steel Production

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