Study: Flexibility and versatility is key for future EV platforms

Study: Flexibility and versatility is key for future EV platforms

Market news |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

As the automotive industry converges toward connected, autonomous, shared, and electric (CASE) mobility, carmakers (OEMs) are working on re-engineering their conventional platforms to accommodate electric vehicle (EV) components such as batteries and motors. However, the industry’s transition from a vehicle-centric to a service-centric approach necessitates the development of new digital platforms (software, back-haul connectivity, and cloud).

Consulting and market research company Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis finds that future modular EV platforms will be flexible and multifaceted, with various vehicle types and shapes built on a single program. This approach will help saving OEMs time, effort, and money required to launch new models. The study examines emerging market trends, platform development’s collaborative approach, new business models for platforms, and growth opportunities.

“In the future, the automotive industry will not be restricted to traditional vehicle manufacturing methods, and sales will focus on building new downstream sources of revenue with an emphasis on the users instead of the vehicles,” explains Program Manager, Mobility Practice at Frost & Sullivan Kamalesh Mohanarangam. The expert believes that the automotive industry is currently shifting from the traditional pyramidal value chain to a flat value chain. Against this backdrop, mobility companies are sourcing chassis technology and platforms from third parties and integrating their technologies.

Despite quite high upfront investments and efforts associated with the development of a dedicated, scalable platform, the excessive flexibility this platform offers will offset this investment through economies of scale, Mohanarangam explained. Further, the amount of time, investment, and effort required to manufacture different battery electric vehicles (BEVs) on an EV platform is believed to significantly less when compared to other platforms.

Market participants should focus on the following growth prospects, Frost & Sullivan advises:

  • To overcome CASE-related challenges, industry participants must develop modular and flexible platforms to offer a number of models without significant investment.
  • With electrification and autonomy gaining popularity, OEMs need to push purpose-built platforms for EV production to enable the seamless introduction of automation.
  • Suppliers will need to expand their scope and focus on bringing in X-by-wire systems for spacious cabins. They should ensure that fail-operational functionalities are built into the system to develop and offer products that address evolving hardware architecture and the software consolidation process.
  • By developing end-to-end software platforms that are scalable and modular, OEMs can make resource sharing a reality, which will lower overall costs and add new capabilities.

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