The Future Development Trends of Global EV Technology
1. Battery Technology: Higher Energy Density, Higher Level of SafetyThe higher the energy density of the battery, the more power it can store per unit volume.
In the past 20 years, the global automotive industry has carried out in-depth research on the following directions of EV batteries:
1) How to efficiently and safely store electrical energy in the battery and drive the vehicle system to operate efficiently and intelligently
2) How to improve the energy density of power batteries and greatly increase the cycle life, including the development of new high-nickel cathode materials, silicon-carbon composite anode materials, and new electrolytes, etc., so as to overcome battery energy storage technology and make batteries with higher energy density, lower costs, and longer life;
How to achieve it: At present, the energy density of lithium iron phosphate batteries used in pure electric vehicles with high sales volume in the market is generally 100-150Wh/kg. The energy density of the battery is basically determined by the positive and negative electrodes of the battery, but only the active materials of the positive and negative electrodes cannot guarantee that the battery can be powered on. There must be a lot of inactive substances, such as conductive auxiliary agents and binders between active powders, Isolation film, cathode and anode foil, insulating and fixed tape, aluminum-plastic film shell or steel-aluminum shell, etc. The increase in battery energy density is mainly achieved by increasing the proportion of active materials. Another is to increase the original battery size to achieve power expansion.
Technology representative in TWh Era: In September 2022, in conjunction with solid-state and high energy density technologies, Farasis Energy released the Super Pouch Solution (SPS). SPS is a large soft package iteration platform, no module integration:
◆ Integration reaches 75%, and components are reduced by 50%
◆ Compatible with ternary, iron-lithium, sodium batteries, graphite, silicon carbon, lithium metal and other material systems. The energy density is from 270 to 400Wh/kg, which can meet the battery life of 300-1000 kilometers
◆ 400 kilometers of battery life after 10 minutes of charging, using AI management throughout the life cycle to ensure safe operation.
At the same time, TWh's technology and production line will greatly reduce production capacity investment costs and manufacturing process costs, reducing equipment investment by 50%, reducing plant area by 60%, and products reaching the PPb level, achieving zero-carbon manufacturing and carbon neutral standards.
Future development: The future power battery industry will achieve "three steps".
The first step is to reach the limit of energy density of existing lithium batteries, which is 350wh/kg;
The second step is to realize the transformation of battery form, from liquid to semi-liquid and finally to solid-state batteries.
The third step is to achieve the industrialization of solid-state batteries with an energy density of 500wh/kg by 2035.
2. Super Fast Charging TechnologyFast charging is the enabler and accelerator for the popularization of electric vehicles. According to a research report by McKinsey, the fast and convenient charging has replaced the purchase cost and mileage anxiety, and become the NO. 1 problem hindering the widespread popularization of EVs. From the perspective of social cost, the construction of fast charging technology & network is imperative.
The problems faced by high-power charging: First, the construction cost is high. Second, due to the higher charging power, the fast charging pile itself will have higher load requirements on the grid, which is an intractable problem for the construction of high-power charging stations. It requires the charging station builders and operators to fully consider the load capacity of the local power grid, and to fully negotiate with the local power grid company to reach a cooperation, and the power grid expansion is a big project.
Overcome charging technology to make charging faster, smarter, and more versatile: In response to the range anxiety, many EV manufacturers have launched a technology competition in the past two years. Electric car with 600km range has become the mainstream of the market. Models with 800km-1000km range are also launched. At the China EV100 Forum 2023 held in early April, Li Bin, chairman of Nio Inc., announced that the installation of 500kW ultra-fast charging piles has begun; XPeng G9, launched in September 2022, is China's first mass-produced vehicle based on an 800V high-voltage SiC platform. In addition to China's EV companies developing ultra-fast charging technology, the same is true for international auto giants such as Porsche, Tesla, and BMW. Tesla announced that as of early March 2023, it has deployed more than 1,500 high-power charging stations and more than 10,000 high-power charging piles in mainland China, as well as more than 700 destination charging stations and 1,900 destination charging piles, and formed a "15-minute charging" life circle in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and other cities.
800V high voltage platform: The demand for ultra-fast charging drives the comprehensive upgrade of the 800V high-voltage electrical system at both the vehicle end and charging pile end. To meet consumers' fast energy replenishment needs, a charging rate of 3C or even 4C is often required. At present, the charge level of A-class and above models has generally reached more than 60kWh, and is still increasing. The charging power required to meet the rapid energy replenishment needs of these models has often exceeded 250kW. In order to achieve a charging power of more than 250kW, the charging current of the Tesla V3 supercharging system has reached nearly 700A. In pursuit of faster charging speed, the 800V voltage platform has become the mainstream choice of various EV manufacturers.
Upgrading the high-voltage platform has two main advantages:
First, it can break through the limitation of high current and achieve higher charging power. Continuing to increase the charging current will pose a huge challenge to the heat dissipation of the electric vehicle charging cable. While upgrading the voltage platform to a higher level will open up room for further improvement of the charging power;
Second, 800V platform can improve the efficiency of the electric vehicle system operation and increase cruising range. Under the same operating power, increasing the voltage platform can reduce the current passing through HV electrical equipment such as high-voltage wiring harnesses and electric motors, thereby reducing copper loss and improving operating efficiency. At user end, the energy consumption level is greatly optimized, and the battery life is longer and more reliable.
Technology representative: As a global industry technology company in the field of automotive connection, Shenzhen Guchen Electronic has developed the CCS2 DC fast charging socket, which has excellent performance in plugging and unplugging tolerance, and can still maintain good impedance after 10,000 plugging and unplugging level. In addition, in terms of safety, this socket integrates a high-precision sensor, so that any temperature changes during the charging process can be monitored at any time to ensure the safety of the charging process.
3. More Innovative Cable Connections and Wire Harness SolutionsThe electrical system of battery electric vehicles is complex, and requires more wires and cable harnesses to transmit electric energy. For example, the battery management system requires high-quality wiring harness to connect a large number of sensors to monitor battery power, voltage, temperature and other parameters. At the same time, fast charging and high power output also requires high-voltage wiring harness to provide power supply to vehicles. The main characteristics of EV cables include high voltage, high current, large wire diameter, and a large number of wires, which have a high technical threshold. This determines that EV HV cable faces challenges such as safety, wiring, shielding, weight and cost.
Lightweight wire harness processing: Excellent wire harness should have the features of good electrical conductivity, high temperature resistance, oil resistance, corrosion resistance, etc., all of which require the support and guarantee of wire harness processing technology. Therefore, wire harness processing is particularly important in EV industry. It determines the quality, performance and reliability of wire harnesses. Equipment manufacturers also need to continuously improve their technical level and production capacity: higher automation, higher production efficiency and higher reliability, and at the same time adapt to the processing of new electrical wires. At Productronica China, TE Connectivity developed a semi-automatic crimping solution for automotive power battery management, which can effectively assist high-speed pin insertion machines produced by new energy vehicle domain controllers, as well as fully automatic crimping equipment for high-speed connectors.
In addition, the EV market pays more and more attention to the weight reduction and energy saving of vehicles. The wire harness processing industry also needs to follow this trend, and constantly explore new materials and processes to reduce the weight and energy consumption of wire harnesses. The use of new high-conductivity materials, lightweight skin and structural design can reduce the weight of the wiring harness itself, thereby improving the vehicle performance.
EV interconnection: Driven by the trend of automobile intelligence and electrification, higher requirements have been put forward to high-voltage connectors for the plugging & unplugging times, current-carrying capacity, heat resistance and vibration resistance. High-voltage connection and high-speed high-frequency connection become the most basic and core connection between the connection system and smart electric vehicles. Shenzhen Guchen Electronic is committed to working with customers to create a lightweight aluminum bar connection solution for high-voltage fast charging.
Technology representative: Guchen Electronic has launched impressive products and technologies, including
1) high-voltage interlock connectors that are compact, rich in options, and can support copper/aluminum conductor welding/crimping solutions,
2) and charging sockets with high precision and simple assembly.
In terms of "customization", Guchen Electronic can quickly customize and develop reliable EV connection solutions according to customer needs by virtue of years of intensive cultivation. All developed products will pass rigorous tests to meet the quality requirements of the automotive industry.
In terms of "cost performance", Shenzhen Guchen Electronic relies on scale advantages, complete upstream and downstream supply chains, information integration, strong production capacity, and efficiency advantages of advanced intelligent manufacturing, to provide global customers with super cost-effective EV interconnection solutions.
4. Industrial Robot
The requirements for high flexibility, intelligence and digitization of industrial robots are very high. Different from traditional industrial robots, EV manufacturing requires robots to interact and collaborate directly with people and production lines in the collaborative area. According to reports, in June 2022, the large-scale upgrade project of BMW Brilliance's production base - Lida Factory officially opened, equipped with more than 800 FANUC robots. In the body shop, a brand-new welding robot and electric servo welding torch were introduced for the first time. By carrying the FANUC cloud remote service system ZDT, each robot and welding torch is connected to the Internet of Things platform for data collection and analysis, and can complete welding and screwing at the same time. It is an example of BMW iFACTORY production strategy and has set a new benchmark for automobile production from three aspects of "lean, green and digital".
In fact, FANUC's new energy vehicle manufacturing solutions are widely used in BYD, Li Auto, XPeng, AION, AITO and other customers. FANUC has gathered a wealth of experience in the intelligent manufacturing of battery electric vehicles, power batteries, and powertrain systems to help users develop smart manufacturing.
5. New Adhesive Dispensing and Fluid Filling TechnologyIn automobile production, including the manufacture of battery packs, electronic control boards and other components, due to the large output, robots are basically used for automatic dispensing. Although the automatic dispensing process has high efficiency, its cost and technical difficulty are also very high. It is necessary to ensure that the glue is evenly applied on the surface of the parts to be connected, and to control the amount of each injection, so that the connection between the parts is firm and uniform, so as to improve the safety and reliability of the battery pack.
Technology representative: Scheugenpflug provides many dispensing solutions in the field of intelligent manufacturing of battery cells, including bottom bonding and fixing of cylindrical cells, side plate bonding, and cell potting. The volumetric piston dispenser Dos P series ensures a constant glue mixing ratio as well as high dispensing accuracy and maintenance-friendly convenience. In terms of increasing production capacity, Scheugenpflug provides solutions for multi-nozzle dispenser, which can greatly improve production efficiency while ensuring dispensing accuracy. For the convenience of process reliability monitoring, Scheugenpflug has developed a all-in-one solution with full integration of inspection in the dispensing station, which can simultaneously detect glue strips while dispensing glue, and provide 2D and 3D online real-time glue strip inspection solutions. No additional time is required, and the abnormal detection rate of the tape is improved, which helps to achieve high productivity while reducing quality costs.
With the rapid development of the global EV industry, it has created many new issues. It is necessary for the upper and lower industrial chains to advance with each other's “connection force”, focus, gather strength, and cooperate sincerely to jointly promote the further development of the global electric vehicle industry, including how to meet the needs of large-scale production, meet consumers' pursuit of high performance, meet the market's cost control and so on.
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