Transportation in India today has evolved with newer forms of technology, leading the transformation. Rapid digitisation has brought about both mechanical as well as aesthetic changes in the automotive sector, but no aspect has been more influential than electrification, and by extension, Electric Vehicles (EVs). The year of 2017 saw a 57% increase in global EV sales, an increase that is predicted to result in 55% of all new car sales and 33% of the global fleet, being electric by 2040.
In India, a similar prediction has been made by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, which states that by 2030, 100% of public transport and 40% of private vehicles can become electric. Given this scenario, the future for EVs looks promising. However, like every new re-defining occurrence, the EV market faces certain roadblocks to surmount.
Two major challenges stand in the way of EV growth in the sector—the need to build better designed, superior components and a scalable model of component production that can allow EVs to be a feasible automotive option. Component production today is still an expensive process, thereby, underlining the prime reason for its relatively slow adoption across geographies. Additionally, components must be light-weight and easily producible to make EVs more efficient as electric power is a valued resource in most countries. Finally, infrastructure, such as, charging points, are also a dogged issue that the industry must address. While efforts have been made on the infrastructure front, component production remains a primary issue that has limited the potential of EVs in the country.
Additive Manufacturing (AM) is one of the alternatives that presents potential solutions to this issue. Organisations in this space are now capable of 3D printing even the most complex of components required for the EV industry, in a variety of materials without the need to do tooling. Since the volumes of production are still under 100,000 to 200,000 per model, YoY, it is an ideal time to start using AM to produce parts for EV.
The final products are comparatively lightweight, durable and cost-friendly—all factors that allow for greater flexibility in the production process. This flexibility allows for components to be created in a streamlined and sustainable manner, thereby accelerating the production process. With the help of 3D printing technology, it is now possible to create components in much shorter time-frames as compared to current technologies that have a 3 to 5 year waiting time. This makes the vision of an automated future no longer merely just a dream!