E-mobility for all
doesn’t have to weigh you down
The battery is the heart of an electric vehicle. It is the most sensitive and most expensive component in an e-car and accounts for 30 – 50% of the overall vehicle costs. Vehicle manufacturers worldwide are working on strategies to build production capacities and supply infrastructures along the entire value chain. So it is all the more important to develop solutions to protect the battery that do not drive the costs for e-vehicles even higher.
The engineers from our steel division have been working hard on ways to protect the central component of electric vehicles. The requirements profile is complex. From crash protection and corrosion resistance to battery cooling, the thyssenkrupp team had various tasks to address. In just six months the experts have developed a virtual prototype that meets all the requirements for optimum battery protection. Our solution weighs no more than a comparable aluminum variant and costs just half as much.
Reducing weight will be important for e-mobility but it will not play the central role it does in conventionally powered cars – after all, electric vehicles do not emit any CO2. And a 100 kg weight saving in an electric car equates to just 8 kilometers in range. But until we are all driving electric vehicles, lightweight steels will remain a key aspect for cars with internal combustion engines. And developments over the last 15 years have shown that the use of steel for cost-efficient weight reduction has been incredibly successful. Steel delivers the optimum balance between the conflicting objectives of CO2 reduction, costs and safety. One statistic proves this: Steel is the material of choice for around 88% of the European vehicle market – that equates to roughly 19 million vehicles.
It’s not just in the body of electric cars that steel plays a key role. Every generator, transformer and electric motor – the heart of every electric vehicle – requires electrical steel: This material is needed to concentrate the magnetic flux in electric machines and thus also to power electric vehicles. The entire chain depends on steel. Without steel there is no e-mobility. So it looks like the most important automotive material of the past and present will remain the most important material in the future.