What is Electrification?
Electrification is one of the fastest growing areas within the transport industries. As the combustion engine begins to be phased out, the growth of electric vehicles looks set to continue.
However, it is not just in the automotive industry that electrification will have an impact. There are also developments in construction with JCB developing the world’s first electric digger, in aerospace as companies such as Rolls Royce, Airbus and Boeing all investigating the progression of electric technology, and in the power industries as questions around energy generation and storage need to be addressed to support the next generation of electric vehicles.
With the expected growth of electrification, so there also comes a number of challenges to overcome, not least the matter of scale. For example, moving the UK away from combustion technology would require the replacement of around 2 million engines with battery units. Each of these units requires 10,000 welds – creating an overall total of 20,000,000,000 welds – all of which need to be correct in order to prevent the battery unit from failing.
Electrification also brings questions around safety since, for example, the incorrect laser welding of battery units could lead to fire.
Planned Developments and Challenges
The Advanced Propulsion Centre have created a roadmap to determine those areas where developments are needed. This covers everything from modelling and design to sensors, surface technologies, materials improvements, improved joining processes and the reduction of manufacturing steps.
Electrification at TWI
TWI already has expertise in many of the areas of importance to electrification across industry. From welding processes and knowledge transfer to light-weighting, safety procedures for battery production and cross-industry interaction, TWI can help.
TWI is working with both large companies and SMEs to help drive electrification forward, making TWI the perfect partner to help promote and deliver the future of electrification in automotive, aerospace, power and beyond.