Study finds automakers struggling to make electric vehicles more sustainable
– Automakers are currently under pressure to prioritize forecourt outlets – cost and range – over solving the hidden carbon footprint of electric vehicles
– Research reveals the direction and challenges of electric vehicle manufacturers, how they balance priorities and smart manufacturing strategies to improve profitability and time to market
NEW DELHI, April 13, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Independent research into electric vehicle (EV) development has found that most automakers focus more on improving electric car range and lowering costs than on improving the carbon footprint of vehicles, despite increasing scrutiny of their hidden environmental impacts. The research was released by the Manufacturing Intelligence division of global technology company Hexagon, whose technology affects 95% of all cars produced each year.
While electric vehicles eliminate tailpipe emissions, they also produce a “long tailpipe” from the increased demand for electricity generated from fossil fuels and the reliance on materials and processes to energy-intensive to build single-use vehicles and batteries. A recent report from Volvo backs this up, announcing that EVs are much “dirtier” when they leave the factory, because resource extraction for an electric powertrain is so carbon-intensive, EVs have to travel nearly twice as many miles as gas-powered cars to break even.
Despite this growing scrutiny, only 38% of automakers are currently increasing their investments in more sustainable EV design, which seems to be a far lower priority than attributes that will appeal to consumers on the forecourt. Namely, the research also found:
- 84% are increasing their investments in improving the range of electric vehicles
- 60% are increasing their design investments that will reduce production and retail costs
- 58% are increasing their investments in improving the performance of electric vehicles
These factors all improve the environmental footprint of an electric vehicle compared to a gasoline-powered car, but research has found that companies face other hurdles in realizing the full green promise of vehicles. Asked about their challenges in achieving greener electric vehicles, the majority of automakers (56%) identify the lack of alternatives to rare earth metals for batteries as the main barrier. Half (49%) are also concerned about the lack of recyclable battery materials, followed closely by the lack of recycling programs and infrastructure (47%).
Ignazio DenticiVP Global eMobility Industry for Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division, said: “Our research reflects a welcome recognition by the automotive industry that sustainability involves more than just reducing on-road emissions, revealing an understanding of lifecycle manufacturing and the material impact of vehicles. However, it also shows that despite this knowledge, automakers feel more pressure to compete for consumer sales than to ensure that electric vehicles are able to fulfill their primary objective of reducing the environmental impact of road transport. . The industry must move at unprecedented speed to innovate in pursuit of improvements in range, production costs and sustainability, in an increasingly competitive environment and while facing significant challenges of the supply chain. To deliver on the promise of a net-zero auto industry sooner while balancing consumer demands, data-driven smart manufacturing approaches must be adopted that support the development of sustainable solutions for every part, as well as the creation of cars. recyclable. Only by designing a circular economy – from factory to consumer and beyond – can we reduce the demand for energy and materials in the years to come.“
Respondents who adopt smarter product development and manufacturing approaches report a 25% reduction in time to market, with the methods producing lighter and more recyclable materials and more self-sustaining manufacturing to help solve the tension between consumer demand and impacts on the planet, progressively reducing development costs and schedules for greener designs. Additionally, synchronizing design, testing, and engineering has been shown to significantly reduce physical testing and defective products, giving engineers the ability to address efficiency and durability at the board stage. to drawing.
Supply chain vulnerabilities, exemplified by ongoing chip shortages, are identified as one of the biggest barriers to expanding electric vehicle production, with 73% citing difficulties sourcing material volumes required. The research highlights different ways in which proponents of smart manufacturing are addressing these issues, including vertical integration of production and open digital ecosystems that enable end-to-end visibility and control over materials throughout throughout their life cycle.
The report, Reload Automotive Market, is produced by Hexagon and is based on original research conducted with Wards Intelligence and Informa Tech Automotive Group (ITAG), with a comprehensive survey of 416 automotive design and manufacturing decision makers. eMobility across the global automotive supply chain. .
Read the full report to find out the full research findings, what is being done to address the barriers to the transition to electric vehicles and where the industry will land in 2030 and 2040:
Notes to Editor
Hexagon is a world leader in digital reality solutions, combining sensors, software and autonomous technologies. We put data to work to improve efficiency, productivity, quality and safety in industrial, manufacturing, infrastructure, public sector and mobility applications.
Our technologies are shaping production and people-related ecosystems to become increasingly connected and autonomous, ensuring a scalable and sustainable future.
Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division provides solutions that use data from design and engineering, production and metrology to make manufacturing smarter. For more information, visit www.hexagonmi.com.
Hexagon (Nasdaq Stockholm: HEXA B) has approximately 22,000 employees in 50 countries and net sales of approximately 4.3 billion euros. To learn more on hexagon.com and follow us@HexagonAB.
Global Head of Media Relations and Analyst Relations
Hexagon Industrial Intelligence Division
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