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Material Technologies Shaping the Future of Electric Vehicles

Material Technologies Shaping the Future of Electric Vehicles

According to the United States Environment Protection Agency, ~26% of global green house gas emissions are from the transportation sector, which includes emissions from cars, trucks, ships, trains, and airplanes. Apparently, passengers cars and light-duty trucks or light commercial vehicles (LCVs) are the largest source of transportation-related emissions and account for ~15- 20% of total greenhouse emissions.

With the Paris Climate Agreement creating a sense of competitive spirit among countries to annually push their carbon dioxide (CO2) emission targets, the automotive industry has been caught up in the hustle to be the catalyst that will drive governments to achieve emission targets. As a consequence, automotive OEMs and car manufacturers are on a quest to become less accountable for climate change and to increase brand equity by becoming evangelists for a sustainable carbon-free world. The automotive industry has concentrated its efforts to make alternative powertrain technologies economical and practically competent with internal combustion engines. Even as big brands invest huge money on alternative powertrains such as full battery electric, hybrids, hydrogen fuel cell electric and plug-in hybrids, one key factor that impacts the efficiency of all these power trains is lightweighting. For every part or component that goes into a vehicle, there is a prospect to reduce weight by replacing traditionally used materials with new lightweight alternatives.

This research service titled “Material Technologies Shaping the Future of Electric Vehicles,” discusses the current state of electric vehicle (EV) adoption by giving a snapshot of the global and regional penetration in 2017. A three-dimensional view is outlined to identify the factors that will influence the future growth in adoption of electric vehicles. In specific, the technology influencers are divided into two namely lightweight design and battery performance.

From a material science perspective, key areas where materials can contribute to uptake of EVs are identified:

Materials for direct lightweighting

Materials re-defining battery performance contributing to indirect lightweighting

A list of key innovators and inventions that could transform the EV landscape is provided along with patent filing trends to give a perspective of solutions and opportunities that are evolving in the automotive industry.


  • Executive Summary
    • Research Scope
    • Research Methodology
    • MDDF Strategy In Play To Make Mobility Greener And Safer
    • Positioning Materials as an Influential Lever for EV Growth
    • Materials Enable Development of Cleaner, Leaner, and Powerful EVs
  • Electric Vehicles - An Introduction
    • Electric Vehicles - Phases of Evolution
    • Phase 1: Power, Speed, and Driving Comfort of ICEs Dominate
    • Phase 2: CAA and Oil Embargo Infuses Fresh EV Aspirations
    • Phase 3: Tesla Triggers Growth While China Opens a New Chapter
    • Electric Vehicles Segmentation - by Drivetrain Type
    • Key Electric Vehicle Features to Assess Competitiveness
    • Key Technical Parameters to Assess Battery Performance
  • Electric Vehicles - 2017 Scenario
    • China Leads the Way in Adoption Even as Sales Hit New Record
    • China Dominate Microcar Sales While Tesla Remains Top Brand
    • Framework of Influencers for EV Adoption
    • Materials Play an Important Role in Widescale Adoption Of EV
  • Lightweight Materials for Electric Vehicles
    • Moving Toward a Sustainable, Low Carbon Mobility Scenario
    • EVs have Lesser Components Than ICE Powered Vehicles
    • EV Powertrain More Than Twice Bulkier Than in ICE powered vehicles
    • Material Replacement and Downsizing are Key for Lightweighting
    • Identifying the Nexus of Direct and Indirect Lightweighting is Important for OEMs
    • US DOE and VTO Actively Pursuing EV performance goals
    • Lightweighting can Help EVs to Meet Range Targets
    • HSS and Aluminum Alloys Grabbing the Share of Regular Steel
    • Magnesium Alloys, CFRP, and AHSS are key Materials with High Lightweighting Potential
    • Aluminum: An Expensive Metal with Thrice the Specific Strength of Steel
    • Full Aluminum Body EV Can Match the Range after Battery Downsizing
    • Magnesium: Lightest Structural Metal with Potential Challenges Related to Creep Behavior
    • Choice of Alloying Elements Key to Overcome Barriers
    • MRI 230D and AS41 Exhibit Superior High Temperature Stability
    • Developments in Magnesium Alloys Aim to Improve its Processability and Heat Stability
    • OEMs Highlight the Potential Use of Magnesium Alloys in Body and Chassis Parts
    • Steel - A Rapidly Evolving Metal with High Lightweighting Potential
    • 1st Generation Offered Strength at the Cost of Low Elongation
    • 2nd Generation Steels Characterized by Improved Ductility and Joining Challenges
    • 3rd Generation AHSS can Meet the Future Needs of Automotive Safety
    • Full Steel Vehicle Designs Showcase Potential of AHSS in EVs
    • AHSS Energy Efficient than Alternatives in Production Phase
    • Polymer Composites - A Versatile Alternative to Traditional Metals
    • Composite Manufacturers and OEMs Partner to Identify Apt Materials for Use
    • iGC Auto Project Targets 50% Weight Reduction Using Graphene
    • CFRP Composite Body Modules Becoming an EV Norm
    • Significant Growth in Composite Development Partnerships
  • Innovations in Lightweight Materials for Electric Vehicles
    • Hot Stamped Steel gets Growing while Sustainability Catches Up
    • Zero Rare Earth Mg-Alloys Possible Through Efficient Processes
  • Battery Technologies for Electric Vehicles
    • Battery Chemistries Evolve to Improve Energy Density
    • Cathode Materials Critical to Improve Energy Density
    • Focus on Weight Reduction and Improving Capacity Retention
    • Specifications of Different Lithium-ion Battery Chemistries
    • Rapid Rise in NMC Adoption Due to Battery Downsizing Prospects
    • Advanced Battery Technologies to Overcome Range Anxiety
    • Research Focus Areas in Metal Air Batteries
    • Research Focus Areas in Solid State Polymer Batteries
  • Innovations in Battery Materials for Electric Vehicles
    • Advanced Li-ion Technologies Improve Electrode Performance
    • High Impact Technology Developments for Solid State Batteries
  • Intellectual Property Landscape (2015 - 2017)
    • Steady Increase in Patent Filings Related to Lightweight Materials in the last 3 Years
    • Li2MSiO4 and LiMBO3 Configurations are Widely Featured in IP Filings
    • SSBs and Li-air in Growth Phase of R&D along with NMC and NCA
  • From the Analyst's Desk
    • Incentive Dependent Growth Not Enough to Go Mainstream
    • Advanced Materials Will Enable Sustainable Growth in Adoption of EVs
  • Key Patents
    • Key Patents Related to Lightweight Materials for Electric Vehicles
    • Key Patents Related to Lithium Cobalt Oxide (LCO) Batteries
    • Key Patents Related to Lithium Manganese Oxide (LMO) Batteries
    • Key Patents Related to Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (NMC) Batteries
    • Key Patents Related to Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) Batteries
    • Key Patents Related to Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide (LCA) Batteries
    • Key Patents Related to Lithium Titanate ( LTO) Batteries
    • Key Patents Related to Solid State Batteries (SSB)
  • Key Contacts

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