According to McKinsey & Company, electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming a true mass-market product. As technology improvements in electric powertrains and batteries drive growth, it’s important to understand electric vehicle trends and how they impact manufacturing.
Trend #1: Using a Native Platform
Typically, electric vehicles have operated on internal combustion engines (ICEs). However, given regulatory pressures on ICEs and technology improvements, they are being developed with native platforms. Unlike ICEs, which limit the release energy capacity, these native platforms offer the following advantages:
- Optimized battery packaging
- Greater interior space
- Twice the range per charge
Trend #2: Differing Designs
While native platforms are a leading trend, there is not yet a defined design or clear winner for powertrains. Instead, several types ranging in chemistries and geometrics are being chosen for electric vehicles manufacturing.
Additionally, this variance applies to thermal management. These vehicles feature different types of cooling systems as well as varying battery heating designs.
Trend #3: Design-to-Cost Approach
However, manufacturers are already applying a design-to-cost approach for electric vehicles. This is especially prevalent for powertrain and body-in-white applications, as manufacturers focus on component integration and using lightweight materials in structural parts.
Yet while these vehicles are slated to grow in upcoming years, manufacturers will need to keep in mind the impact these will have on their business models. For example, they currently rely on consumers to pay more for vehicles based on:
- Different engine types
- Comfort and safety features
- Aftermarket repairs
However, they cost less to maintain and don’t offer as much differentiating design or performance options.