Air pollution is a distressing global topic that has unleashed outrage and action from not only environmentalists but also governments and corporations. Transportation is responsible for about a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions, with passenger cars and other light vehicles accounting for 17% of the total.1 In China, one-third of pollution comes from gas and diesel-burning engines and deaths due to air pollution in India and China have already reached a million per annum and continue to rise.2 Developed and emerging economies face similar crises.3 The European Environment Agency reported that dirty air resulted in the premature death of nearly half a million EU citizens.
As air quality declines, total economic and welfare costs are rising.
As air quality declines, total economic and welfare costs are rising. Population growth and city density are also increasing, exacerbating a problem that is already out of control. By 2060, the total cost of air pollution will account for 1% of global GDP (up from 0.3% in 2015).4 Combatting air pollution by targeting automotive transport is gaining momentum among governments worldwide. China is aggressively supporting the Electric Vehicles (EV) market through subsidies and restrictions on petroleumpowered vehicles in smog-choked cities. Similar measures have been introduced in urban settings around the world and are hastening the demise of conventional cars (Figure 1).
The EV powertrain is structurally simpler and lighter compared to traditional cars resulting in more efficient assembly and lower production costs (See Figure 4). And as production scales up, costs come down. Structural simplicity means fewer breakable parts to service and lower maintenance costs over the life of the car.
Electrification will revolutionize mobility quite literally from the inside out, starting with the car’s internal design and then shifting to its external interactions within a larger transportation system.
Critical to this second stage of development are the IT technologies that enable cars to communicate information to centralized data hubs to prevent problems and optimize performance. In future, vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication will improve passenger safety and reduce traffic congestion while vehicle-to-grid (V2G) applications will allow EV owners to optimize charging tariffs and help stabilize the energy grid.
Software, sensors and semiconductors are at the heart of this transition. Electric vehicles already have 10x more semiconductor content than traditional vehicles (Figure 5).
The car of the future will be safe, green and connected. New business models will emerge and change our way of life. The electric revolution has just started. Join us on this electrifying journey!The demand and sophistication of vehicle electrification will intensify with the acceptance and expansion of autonomous driving. Ultimately, vehicle architecture, manufacturing, and engineering will undergo a complete overhaul. The car of the future will transform from one dominated by pure mechanics, hydraulics and hydrocarbons to one of circuits, silicon and software – a “computer on wheels” with the power to reduce pollution and improve urban life and infrastructure.
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