ELECTROMOBILITY Europe releases the hand brake on e-mobility
A study by the Chemnitz Automotive Institute CATI in cooperation with AMZ and automotive thüringen shows that by 2025, every fourth car from European plants will be "electrified " - over 50 % of them will be produced in Germany.
In the midst of a far-reaching structural change in the automotive industry and a sales crisis exacerbated by the corona pandemic, e-mobility is gaining momentum on European roads. While the passenger car market as a whole is shrinking, new registrations of battery electric passenger cars (BEVs) will grow by more than 30 % in Europe in the first half of 2020. This means that the share of BEVs in this market will rise from 1.9 to 3.9 %. What impact will this trend have on car manufacturers producing in Europe? What specific number of e-vehicles can be expected by 2025? And what challenges do suppliers face in this process? The answers to these and other questions are contained in the study "Electromobility - Strategies of the OEM - Developments in Europe 2020-2025," prepared by the Chemnitz Automotive Institute CATI in cooperation with the Industry Network of Automotive Suppliers Saxony AMZ and automotive thüringen.
The first detailed analysis of e-vehicle production in Europe
This analysis provides the first detailed information on the development of locations and production volumes for electrified passenger cars and light commercial vehicles in Europe up to the year 2025. "We are currently observing a ramp-up in e-mobility, although this is still happening with the hand brake on. However, according to our studies, this will be resolved in the next two years. Manufacturers urgently need a surge in electric in order to meet their CO2 emissions targets and avoid fines. However, they have also failed to initiate appropriate and timely product developments and to push ahead with the provision of production capacities, resulting in long delivery times for both fully electric passenger cars and plug-in hybrids," explained Prof. Dr. Werner Olle, member of the board of directors of the Chemnitz Automotive Institute CATI. The institute is a division of TUCed - An-Institut für Transfer und Weiterbildung GmbH.
E-car production to increase significantly by 2025
The research and analysis of company-related data by CATI showed that in 2019, 276,500 fully electric passenger cars were produced in Europe at 17 locations in eight countries - including six in Germany. According to the study, it can be expected that in comparison to 2019, there will be a doubling of the BEV production plants to over 35 locations in at least eleven European countries, and more than a quadrupling of the electric cars produced there. The study forecasts the production of 1.2 million all-electric vehicles in Europe by 2022, and over two million units in 2025.
Germany – a hotspot of e-vehicle production
Germany is developing into a hotspot. In 2019, the Federal Republic was, for the first time, the largest European sales market for all-electric cars, just ahead of much smaller markets such as the Netherlands and Norway. In 2020, Germany is overtaking France as a BEV production location for the first time. According to the authors of the study, this development, which has only recently begun, will continue to gain momentum into 2025. They have calculated that the annual production of electric cars in Germany will increase almost eightfold between 2019 and 2022 to around 600,000 vehicles and will continue to rise to over 1.1 million BEVs by 2025. A solid 50 % of all fully electric passenger cars manufactured in Europe will then be produced at German locations.
With regard to the drive portfolio in electric mobility, many automobile manufacturers are modifying existing strategies and opening up to the mix of BEV and PHEV models in various forms. According to the study, they do not see any prospects for large-scale production in this decade for fuel cell vehicles in the passenger car sector. The exceptions are Toyota and in particular Hyundai. "These developments are an indication that the continuing market uncertainties regarding future drive technologies are increasingly prompting car manufacturers to diversify their drive strategies. Politicians should set ambitious milestones derived from overarching goals, but should not prescribe the technologies for achieving these goals," emphasized Prof. Olle.
Opportunities in the light commercial vehicle segment
Reductions in CO2 limits in Europe apply equally to light commercial vehicles (LCVs up to 3.5 t). Electric vehicles are therefore also gaining importance in this segment. They are produced in much smaller quantities than passenger cars and mainly by specialized suppliers. Traditional car manufacturers have largely not yet been able to tap into this market through their own series production. At the end of 2019, fully electric LCVs were produced at nine European OEM locations according to CATI’s assessment. The OEMs are only now beginning to include this segment in their e-strategies. "Start-ups that offer light electric transporters have already entered this gap. We see a niche market with potential here, in which traditional suppliers can also carve out a place for themselves and open up the topic of new mobility," according to AMZ network manager Dirk Vogel in regard to opportunities for Saxon companies.