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selectrify® – steel solutions for electric mobility

With cost-efficient lightweighting solutions for the vehicle structure, robust and safe battery housings and electrical steel for efficient electric motors, thyssenkrupp Steel is demonstrating the enormous potential of innovative steel solutions for electric vehicles. The way we build cars is changing. The electric car 2.0 doesn’t simply replace a conventional engine with a battery and electric motor. It calls for a design that meets new requirements and at the same time offers new possibilities.

Electric car 2.0: almost everything changes

Engineers, designers, technicians and material suppliers are having to rethink. The packaging, body construction and chassis of battery-electric vehicles are fundamentally different from conventional designs. The elimination of internal combustion engine, transmission, tank and exhaust system allows greater design freedom and requires changes, for example, to the energy-absorbing zones in the front end. At the same time, the high weight of the battery generates additional loads in all crash load cases.

Cost-efficient lightweighting solutions are needed to drive forward the mobility revolution. Robust and safe battery housings must ensure that electric cars at least match the safety standards of conventional vehicles. And with more efficient electric motors, the stored energy must be converted into greater range

Steel: “The Material of Mobility”

thyssenkrupp Steel has a high level of expertise in all aspects of electric mobility. Steel is crucial to the mobility revolution. It’s indispensable in generators and electric motors. And it’s the number one choice for body construction, battery housings and chassis solutions.

“selectrify®” is the name under which thyssenkrupp Steel has combined its e-mobility activities and a synonym for the enormous potential of innovative steel solutions for electric vehicles.

Aluminum can pack its bags: the selectrify® steel battery housing

Battery housing made of steel

Until now, the main function of a car’s safety design has been to provide the best possible occupant protection. This function now also includes protection of the battery. Battery housings have the task of protecting the most sensitive and expensive component of an electric vehicle – the battery system with battery cells, battery management system and thermal management. This is not just a matter of crash or intrusion protection: fire safety, electromagnetic shielding and corrosion protection are also key criteria.

The selectrify®-battery housing is a newly developed steel design offering excellent performance. It consists of an enclosure with a frame, connection profile, upper and lower support arms, underride guard and cover. It is available in a wide range of patented designs and is almost weight-neutral compared with aluminum. The selectrify®-battery housing proves that lightweighting, safety and fire protection can be combined – and at the same time allow high cost savings.

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Advantages of selectrify® battery housings

Cost efficiency

Cost efficiency

With the same crash safety performance and approximately the same weight, the steel design is up to 50% cheaper to make than aluminum solutions. Perfect for high-volume production.

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Sustainability

Sustainability

When it comes to the life-cycle environmental impact of electric vehicles compared with internal combustion engine vehicles, the hotspots shift from the use phase to the production phase. Life cycle assessments show that steel is the most sustainable material for battery housings.

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Fire protection

Fire protection

Battery housing fire protection is a key criterion for the safety of electric vehicles. The housing must protect passengers in the event of a fire because battery fires cannot be extinguished. In the event of a fire, a battery housing made of steel provides vital minutes for passengers and others involved in an accident.

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Safety

Safety

High-strength steels can be used to make very slim and thin-walled crash structures, saving packaging space and freeing up room for large batteries.

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How steel gets EVs into shape: the selectrify® reference structure

Reference structure

The selectrify® reference structure represents the virtual body of an electric vehicle. It demonstrates the radical changes in the body-in-white of innovative electric cars.

The selectrify® reference structure for safe, weight-optimized electric vehicles illustrates the enormous potential of high-strength steels and new steel technologies. Its new ideas for materials and applications have been verified using the same tools and methods used by leading automotive developers. The longitudinally scalable reference structure takes the new requirements into account.

For example, a large underfloor battery means longer wheelbases, while compact electric motors allow shorter overhangs. In addition to new latitude for vehicle design, complex geometries will give way to simpler structural components and profiles. At the same time, rockers and B-pillars will have to meet stiffer structural requirements

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How steel powers electric motors: the selectrify® powertrain

How steel powers electric motors: the selectrify® powertrain

Another product from the selectrify® portfolio is used in the powertrain: powercore® electrical steel. thyssenkrupp Steel is European market leader in grain-oriented and non-oriented electrical steel. The high-purity soft magnetic iron-silicon alloy powercore® is found in virtually every electric motor. Use in the automobile places particularly high demands on electric motors. While speeds of around 4,000 rpm are usual in classic applications such as drills, electric vehicle motors reach speeds up to 20,000 rpm.

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Steel: at the heart of the mobility revolution

Steel: at the heart of the mobility revolution

Steel is at the heart of generators, transformers and electric motors. The powercore® product range includes both grain-oriented electrical steel for use in energy distribution (transformers) and non-oriented grades for use in energy generation (generators) and utilization (motors). With intelligent powercore® solutions, thyssenkrupp Steel is making a valuable contribution to the energy revolution.

Also under development: functional coatings for cost-efficient stack construction by motor manufacturers and for lower noise levels. For example, the use of bondal® E in the stator of an asynchronous machine reduces electromagnetically induced noise levels by up to 10 dB(A). Further cost-intensive materials for noise reduction can thus be dispensed with.

Energy revolution – with solutions from thyssenkrupp Steel

Energy revolution – with solutions from thyssenkrupp Steel

To ensure that the climate targets set by the German government and the European Union can actually be achieved, the electricity for EVs must come from renewable energies.

Smart electricity distribution is needed, and storage capacities must be created. Also required is a major expansion of charging stations and the entire charging infrastructure.

The Electrical Steel business unit of thyssenkrupp Steel has the high-tech materials and smart solutions for this in its powercore® portfolio.

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Contact Automotive – Body

ThyssenKrupp Contact

Dr. Jürgen J. Schramm

Productmanagment

thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG
Kaiser-Wilhelm-Strasse 100
47166 Duisburg, Germany

Telephone: +49 203 52-40221

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Contact Automotive – Powertrain

ThyssenKrupp Contact

Marco Tietz

Head of Technical Customer Service

thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG

Castroper Str.228

44791 Bochum

Telephone: +49 234 508-51493

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