Electrical vehicles (EV) have seen considerable growth in the past decade. In 2019, electric car sales exceeded 2 million globally and from 2018 to 2019 experienced a 40 percent year-on-year increase. In the US, EV production was second only to China globally, and sales of electric cars in the US were 17 percent of the global market in 2018. By 2040, there are expected to be an astounding 54 million!
The growth that is being seen has been driven by more affordable battery processes, improved battery energy density, an improved charging infrastructure, and lightweight materials development.
Early electric cars had high production costs, short battery range, and consumers lacked places to charge them. As automakers started rolling out EVs, The Department of Energy (DOE) invested more than $115 million to build a nationwide charging infrastructure. Automakers and private businesses joined in, adding charging stations at key locations throughout the country.
The DOE Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) collaborates with national laboratories and industry to improve batteries and electric drive systems. EV's heavy battery, inverter, and related electronics can decrease the car's power-to-weight ratio, so weight reduction is essential.
Light Weighting Increases Battery Range
The VTO has also worked on research and development of lightweight materials for vehicles. By using lightweight materials in the body and chassis, the weight of power systems can be offset. The lighter the vehicle, the more efficient it becomes and the better the battery range.
Due to EV vehicles' weight optimization, they typically have a high concentration of High Pressure Die Cast (HPDC) Parts. HDPC is a process where molten metal is forced under pressure into a sealed mold. High pressure is applied until the metal solidifies and forms the casting. The press is withdrawn, and the casting is released, yielding high-quality, dense, heat treatable components. One downside to the HDPC is the high upfront costs of the dies, tooling, and hydraulically actuated die casting machine. This can be daunting in prototyping and early development phases.
An Alternative for Prototypes
Anderson Global has the technology to HPDC parts in a prototype and early developmental phase. Our process will yield HPDC developmental parts without the cost of building fully functional HPDC dies. Contact us if you are interested in learning more.