The Evolving World of Automotive

The Evolving World of Automotive

Right now, automakers around the world are focused on meeting increasingly stringent emissions regulations. They are continuing to make progress in reducing CO2 emissions and making commitments to manufacturer more zero-emission vehicles. However, there is still significant work to be done.

According to the Electric Vehicle Outlook from Bloomberg NEF, as soon as 2030, nearly 60% of new car sales must be zero emissions to stay on track for a“Net Zero Scenario” by 2050. To give some current market perspective, today electric vehicles (EV) account for less than 5% of the passenger vehicle market globally.It is clear that a fundamental shift in the technology for passenger cars is needed. And as automakers navigate the transition, they must also close the affordability gap to help consumers make the switch to hybrid or full-electric vehicles.

The battery electric vehicle (BEV), which does not emit CO2, is quickly gaining traction in the market, and governments are continuing to incentivize purchases. Additionally, as BEVs ramp up, the technology costs are dropping rapidly. According to BloombergNEF, in 2010, the price per kilowatt hour was over $1,000 for batteries. By 2024, this cost will reduce to less than $100. As the technology improves, costs decrease, charging infrastructure is built and consumer demand rises, OEMs are working to expand their vehicle lineup to include more EVs. Advancements in semiconductor technologywill enable automakers to optimize performance, accelerate development and make EVs more affordable for more people.

Challenges in the Automotive Tech Space

We find motivation for improved automotive technology and electrification in the answer to question 1. Now how do we go build an EV? The first step is to understand the barriers to market entry. It’s true that an EV can cost substantially more than its combustion counterpart. 

 

 “It is clear that a fundamental shift in the technology for passenger cars is needed.”

Additionally, we as consumers expect similar range and “refill” charge times. Finding answers to cost and range anxiety while keeping safety and reliability at the forefront is critical.

At TI, we develop products to address these customer challenges. For example, our battery management technology enables additional charge to be utilized out of a battery pack due to our industry-leading precision. This provides up to 25percentmore range while simultaneously reducing the system cost – battery packs do not need to be overdesigned. With EVs moving to higher voltages and more efficient on-board chargers, sophisticated power topologies are required with real-time digital control solutions.  Paired with isolated gate drivers and fully integrated gallium nitride (GaN) power devices our real-time microcontroller portfolio can help enable fast and efficient EV charging.

In addition, the traction inverter system plays an important role in achieving optimal performance. Because these systems require high computational performance, it’s critical that control features work seamlessly in tandem with the dynamic output current control improving overall system efficiency while maintaining ideal motor torque.

Along with lower emissions and longer driving ranges, drivers will continue to look for vehicles with improved safety and reliability. With more stringent requirements for safety, the industry is having to rethink how to design existing automotive systems in order to improve the driving experience with advanced safety features. From wireless battery management systems to integrated powertrains, functional safety is a critical component in nearly every automotive system.

The Future for Vehicle Electrification

Electric vehicles have come a long way, but we are just at the beginning of this shift in transportation. In fact, according to a recent BloombergNEF report, EVs account for less than 5% of the passenger vehicle market globally, but this share is increasing rapidly. Consumers will continue to make shifts to BEV as OEMs deliver on range improvements, faster charging and lower cost of ownership. Semiconductors will continue to help auto manufacturers remove these barriers, lower costs, reduce complexity and meet safety requirements of the vehicle while simultaneously delivering on the mission to reduce emissions.

Piece of Advice

The automotive market is changing quickly. Combustion engines are being replaced with traction inverters, gas tanks are being replaced by batteries. We as technology partners must continue to work even closer with OEMs and Tier 1s to innovate, solve problems and enable the vehicle of the future.

Ryan Manack is the Director of Automotive Systems for Texas Instrument’s Systems Engineering Marketing team. Ryan joined TI in 2007 and has served in a number of roles including applications engineering, sales, systems engineering and business leadership.

 

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