Permanent magnet motors are expected to dominate the market by virtue of their performance and efficiency. However, the growing concern over the availability and pricing of rare earth metals will open up the market for other motor technologies such as induction and hybrid motors.
New analysis, Strategic Analysis of Electric Motor Technologies for Electric and Hybrid Vehicles in Europe, finds that the market earned revenues of Euro 55 million in 2010 and estimates this to reach $1.6 billion in 2017 with emission norms and government support driving vehicle manufacturers (VMs) towards greater adoption of hybrid and electric vehicles.
The sourcing strategies for electric motors are expected to vary among VMs. Frost & Sullivan analysis finds that about 30-40 per cent of VMs outsourcing motors from suppliers are planning to bring the intelligence in-house as of now.
“While some VMs are working with more than one supplier on the development of electric motors, others are choosing to develop it in-house,” notes Frost & Sullivan Team Leader Anjan Hemanth Kumar. “Reliability, strong R&D, a smooth supply chain and tight quality control coupled with state-of-the-art manufacturing procedures and facilities are some of the key sourcing criteria for VMs.”
Car makers in Europe are required to bring down their fleet’s average CO2 emissions in accordance with the limit-value curve from 2012. Also, most EU-15 states offer a discount for EVs on the first registration tax applicable on vehicle acquisition. Against the backdrop of these drivers, all OEMs have adopted unique strategies to reduce CO2 emissions, with powertrain electrification taking precedence over other technologies.
However, hybrids and EVs tend to command high retail prices, which require VMs to bridge the cost gap between hybrids and their conventional equivalents. For VMs, EV technologies such as traction electric motors and advanced batteries are not part of a strong in-house portfolio. They remain wary of moving away from internal combustion engines, which represent a century-old technology with strong infrastructure.
Several opportunities exist for motor manufacturers down the EV powertrain. VMs in the short-term are looking to contract specialist EV system developers that can integrate the systems into the vehicle. In the medium- to long-term, the preference would be for Tier 1 suppliers with strong intra-organisational support. OEMs that would look to develop in-house electric motor capabilities are likely to retain the design and intelligence but source the modules and components.