The quiet revolution promising to transform automotive design is not so quiet anymore.
Fueled by government mandates and significant improvements in battery technology, electric vehicle production is gaining momentum globally – and there’s no end in sight.
Regulations requiring automakers to improve fuel efficiency and/or reduce fleet-average carbon emissions are nothing new, of course.
For decades, automotive manufacturers have faced increasingly stringent requirements and today, must meet various standards worldwide.
But until recently, all-electric vehicles have played a minor role in satisfying those mandates.
That’s all changed with more government entities adopting regulations focused squarely on zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs).
In Germany, the government’s recent vote to ban internal combustion engines by 2030 is expected to have a ripple effect throughout much of Europe and Japan.
And in the U.S., more states are adopting California’s Section 177 mandate, which requires that a percentage of an automaker’s sales must be ZEVs.
Ten states, accounting for 28 percent of new vehicle registrations in the U.S., have adopted the Section 177 mandate.
Concurrently, new battery technology has bolstered consumer confidence by doubling the distance an electric vehicle can travel on a single charge – and decreasing the time needed for recharge.
These developments are a boon to existing electric vehicle manufacturers – and an enticement to those wanting to capture a promising opportunity.
Established automotive brand owners can oftentimes rely on their wealth of industry expertise and existing supply chain to bring a new electric option to market.
But for startups entering the marketplace, choosing the right suppliers at the outset is critical to success.
That’s especially the case when choosing a control platform that will help chart the course for productivity and innovation for decades.
So specifically, what factors should a new electric vehicle manufacturer consider when choosing an automation and control systems supplier?
1. Take a long hard look at a company’s industry expertise and technological roadmap.
Can they provide insight regarding industry applications? And will their solutions and vision help drive success on the plant floor both now and in the future?
For example, at Rockwell Automation, we have gained in-depth knowledge of automotive manufacturing operations and process optimization through more than a century of serving the industry.
Our automotive manufacturing expertise, strategic relationships, and automation and control solutions span the entire automotive supply chain.
And our global program launch experience extends from specification design development and integration of IT and manufacturing systems – to machine builder coordination.
At the same time, we recognize automation equipment is a significant investment.
That’s why we focus on helping automakers extend the value of their applied systems through planned migration and modernization programs – and proactive equipment lifecycle management.
2. Take an equally hard look at a company’s support network and service philosophy, which can prove just as important as technology and industry expertise.
Will products and services be available when and where you need them?
Simply put, logistics and support matter.
Rockwell Automation recognizes that your ability to secure products and services quickly can be the difference between a successful product launch and one that fails to achieve objectives.
Our network of global sales and support locations – plus relationships with partner companies including distributors, system integrators and machine builders – are designed to place training, service and product inventory within close proximity of automakers worldwide.
The result? A responsive supply chain – and ready access to expertise that helps keep your operations running optimally.
Learn more about how Rockwell Automation is helping automakers get vehicles to market faster and more profitably.
Published December 14, 2016