Electric vehicles will revolutionise logistics industry: Ti research
NEW research from UK's Transport Intelligence (Ti) has found that automotive supply chains will undergo a radical transformation over the next decade as the internal combustion engine is phased out in favour of alternative propulsion systems
NEW research from UK's Transport Intelligence (Ti) has found that automotive supply chains will undergo a radical transformation over the next decade as the internal combustion engine is phased out in favour of alternative propulsion systems.
With electric vehicles playing an important role in the industry's future, the supply chain for the entire powertrain will be transformed and the types of components, the logistics processes employed to move them, the markets of origin and destination as well as the tiered character of automotive supply chains will fundamentally change.
The findings of the new report 'Ti Future Mobility: Electric Vehicle Supply Chain Architecture' show that as the dominant technology in electric vehicles, battery manufacturing processes will transform the automotive supply chain.
'Battery or battery pack producers with high volumes will drive out lower volume manufacturers, including many vehicle manufacturers' own in-house operations.
'Supply chain and logistics provision will adapt to the geography of battery and electric component production locations,' the report said.
The integration of the battery-pack and associated drive-train elements will create a distinctive 'propulsion platform'.
Whilst batteries are complex pieces of engineering, they are much more straightforward to insert into a vehicle than an internal combustion engine. Plugging in the electric motors to the battery is a comparatively simple process. With no welding shop, no engine plant and a higher level of outsourcing to new component suppliers, the automotive assembly facility will shrink in scale along with its logistics requirements.
'Conventional vehicle manufacturers define assembly as a core-competence but with the changing nature of operations this may no longer be the case. It may be that, in time, automotive manufacturers' come to focus on the design and marketing of their product, in the way that Apple does,' said Nick Bailey, Ti's head of Research and the report's co-author.
'Fundamentally there is a shift in the nature of the components used, from mechanical engineering to electrical and electronic engineering,' said report co-author, Thomas Cullen, senior analyst at Ti. 'The economics of both designing and producing these components is very different. This has enormous implications for how the automotive supply chain is ordered.'