E-Mobility Needs Internal Combustion Know-How
For electric drive systems, automobile manufacturers need the internal combustion know-how of their suppliers, says Horst Binnig, head of Rheinmetall Automotive. This should have a positive effect on traditional companies.
"The worldwide boom in electromobility will also have a lasting and positive impact on traditional specialists in combustion technology," says Horst Binnig, CEO of Rheinmetall Automotive. "For all new driveline systems, automobile manufacturers need the support of a functioning supplier base and, above all, the longstanding accumulated supplier expertise in the areas of development and production technology. The prerequisite, however, is that these companies have recognized the change in good time and set up their business strategy accordingly at an early stage," says the CEO of the German development partner of the international automotive industry."
This applies in particular to those components of electric drivelines that require complex and expertise-rich production processes. Binnig cites as just one example the aluminum casting of housings for electric motors, which his company currently produces for Volkswagen China in Guangde, some 200 kilometers west of Shanghai. The complex cooling system of this ultra-modern component, which contributes to the necessary temperature control of the electric driveline, requires a special casting process developed exclusively in Germany to series maturity and meanwhile successfully used in China.
For the Rheinmetall Automotive CEO, the battery pack carriers, which require temperature control as well, are also part of this extremely know-how-rich product range. This is an area in which also start-ups are dependent on the input of traditional suppliers from the automotive sector. Binnig even goes one step further: "Electric coolant pumps, which have already been used in combustion engines for many years, but also innovative heat pumps, are necessary to ensure the complicated temperature management of power electronics, electric motor or battery in addition to heating the passenger compartment. Last but not least, electric vacuum pumps might also be added, Binnig continues, in order to build up the necessary brake pressure in electric, hybrid or even fuel-cell vehicles.
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