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E-mobility for all doesn’t have to weigh you down

selectrify® – steel solutions for electromobility

What would our cars look like if they were all only powered by electricity? Engineers, designers, technicians, and even material suppliers would need to have a rethink, since innovative technologies will change both the design and construction of vehicles in equal measure. thyssenkrupp Steel’s development team has also been working to find solutions to such future issues for some time.

thyssenkrupp Steel is using affordable, lightweight vehicle structure solutions, highly stable and safe battery housings, and especially efficient electrical drive motors made from electrical steel to demonstrate the enormous potential of innovative steel solutions for electric vehicles.

In the future, the steel group will pool its high level of electromobility material and application expertise under the name selectrify®.

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selectrify® reference structure

A high proportion of high-strength steel grades guarantees the safety of the vehicle while simultaneously reducing the weight of electric vehicles.

Dimensions

The development of the selectrify® reference structure takes the average dimensions found in the compact segment as a basis. However, the dimension concept can be adapted as needed.

Range

The selectrify® reference structure is designed for a range of 500 kilometers. It has seating for a total of five occupants with trunk space.

How steel is getting electric cars into shape: the selectrify® reference structure

The selectrify® reference structure presents a virtual development of the chassis of an electric vehicle. This provides thyssenkrupp Steel with a guideline as to how high-strength steels can be best applied.

The aim is to create economical and production-ready solutions from steel for weight-optimized and safe electric vehicles. They emphasize the high potential of high-strength steels and new steel technologies. The material and application concepts have been tested using the tools and methods of leading automotive developers.

Undercarriage design

Undercarriage design electric car

Electric vehicles have longer wheel distances and shorter overhangs than those with combustion engines. For steel components, this means complex geometries are a thing of the past and simpler structural components and profiles are the here and now.

At the same time, the structural requirements for components such as rockers and B-pillars are now stricter. This means it must be ensured that the battery has optimal protection in event of a side-on collision.

The trend is heading increasingly in the direction of higher strengths and more economical alloy concepts. Innovative forming technologies such as smartform® and hybrid materials are becoming more important.

Find out more about reference structures for electric vehicle chassis

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selectrify® battery housing

High-strength steel provides strong protection for the battery. Steel solutions are not only safe, but offer more useable space, too.

Safe housing

With the selectrify® battery box, the most sensitive and expensive component is safely protected. Here, steel offers distinct advantages in terms of fire protection and electromagnetic compatibility.

Dissipating the energy

Battery housing with multi-chamber profiles made from high-strength steels support very high loads in side-on collisions and prevent contact being made between the housing parts and battery modules.

Underride guard

High-strength steel of just 1.2 mm thickness protects the battery even if there is little deformation space in the event of a collision with foreign bodies from below.

How steel protects battery cells: the selectrify® battery housing

The battery is the key component in electric vehicles. The selectrify® battery housing provides newly developed steel designs that meet the highest requirements in terms of crash safety, weight, and overall costs. Steel is the most economical material for battery housing in mass production.

Battery housings consist of a casing with a frame, a connection profile, upper and lower support arms, an underride guard, and a cover. The steel concept can meet requirements while being nearly as light as aluminum and significantly more cost effective.

It also offers significant advantages in terms of fire protection and electromagnetic compatibility.

Fewer CO2 emissions

Emissionen Elektroauto

Steel as a material has a significantly lower environmental impact in the production phase in particular in comparison to aluminum. The production of steel battery housing generates up to two thirds fewer greenhouse gas emissions than aluminum references do.

The conversion from aluminum to steel can cut CO2 emissions by around 50 percent. Steel is by far the most sustainable material that can be used in electric vehicles.

Find out more about battery housing

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selectrify® drive systems

Electrical steel is an irreplaceable material for drive systems. The powercore® trademark’s highly purified, magnetically soft iron-silicon alloy can be found in nearly every product.

The highest degree of efficiency

The lower remagnetization losses of high-strength electrical steel grades ensure that motors run more efficiently, increasing the vehicle’s range.

How steel drives electric motors: the selectrify® drive system

Another product from the selectrify® portfolio is used in drive systems: its trade mark powercore® electrical steel. Electrical steel is a highly pure, magnetically soft iron-silicon alloy that is used to guide and concentrate the magnetic flow present in the motor. thyssenkrupp is the leading electrical steel manufacturer in Europe and fifth worldwide.

The company offers intelligent powercore® solutions, thus making a valuable contribution to the energy transition.

The powercore® product range includes both grain-oriented electrical steel for use in the distribution of energy (transformers) and non-grain-oriented grades for use in energy generation (generators) and energy use (motors).

Also in development are functional coatings for an economically efficient packet structure for automotive manufacturers, plus improved noise generation management in the drive system.

Charging column technology

Power distribution with electrical tape

The electricity for electric cars must come from renewable energies if Germany is to be in a position to actually implement the energy transition called for by the German government in the future.

This electricity must be distributed intelligently and storage capacity must be created to utilize it. Ultimately, the number of charging stations along with the entire charging infrastructure need to be expanded on a massive scale.

thyssenkrupp Steel’s Electrical Steel business unit has the right high-tech materials and intelligent solutions in its powercore® portfolio to do this.

Find out more about drive systems

Contact

ThyssenKrupp Contact

Patrick Tlauka

Project Manager selectrify®

Telephone: +49 203 52 23571

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