Top 5 sectors to look out for opportunities in the world of EVs

Looking for the next big turning point in your life, electric vehicle space has all the excitement waiting to be encashed.

Looking for the next big turning point in your life, electric vehicle space has all the excitement waiting to be encashed.

Globally EVs have democratized the Automotive industry and created newer opportunities for Auto and non-Auto players. While many new sectors will emerge, the following 5 holds the maximum promise

  1. Battery R&D and Manufacturing

  2. Electric motors - Design & Development

  3. BMS & Software development

  4. Power electronics

  5. Charging infrastructure

1. Battery R&D and Manufacturing

Battery cost accounts for nearly 35 to 45% of the electric vehicle cost and is the single biggest component in terms of weight and volume. With increasing EV sales and the eventual ban of gasoline and diesel vehicles, EV batteries would be the hottest commodity in the market. Those who have expertise in the battery business, either in R&D or in Manufacturing would have a clear advantage over others

Battery R&D: 🔋👨‍🔬

Globally thousands of startups and established firms are working to improve the energy density and volumetric efficiency of Electric vehicle batteries. Corporates and governments are pouring billions of dollars into the following 3 major areas,

  • Short term: Reducing Cobalt content in the current Li-ion chemistry to reduce cost

  • Medium-term: Improved battery chemistry like Lithium-Air and Lithium Sulphur to increase the energy density by 9 to 10 times that of the current Li-ion batteries

  • Long term: Solid State batteries to further improve energy density, increase charging speed, reduce safety hazards and improve battery life >10 years

Ford has recently opened its global battery center of excellence, "Ford Ion Park" in Michigan, USA. The center would employ 150 experts with skills ranging from Battery technology, Testing, Cell chemistries, Manufacturing processes, Prototype, and Pilot production. Several such Battery centers of excellence are expected to come up across the world and also in India.

Battery Manufacturing: 🔋🏭

EV Battery manufacturing involves the following 3 stages

(i) Cell manufacturing;

(ii) Module Build &

(iii) Battery Pack assembly

Out of these 3 stages, Cell manufacturing is the most complex and highly skilled process. The unit which manufactures battery cell from the basic chemicals in a large scale unit is called Giga factories. One Gigafactory can produce up to 15 GWh capacity worth of battery cells per year, which in turn can meet the requirements of around 200,000 electric cars annually

The current global installed capacity of cell manufacturing is 450 GWh and that's expected to go up to 2,800 GWh by 2030, a 6 fold increase in ten years. This means huge employment opportunities in this sector. Asia Pacific region, mainly China and Korea, would continue to dominate the Global Battery manufacturing industry with a 57% share of business in 2030. Battery cell manufacturing is a big boys game and requires huge investments, expected to be dominated by corporates and startups supported by wealthy VCs

The below infographic shows the number of Gigafactories planned in Europe

In India, ISRO holds several patents for Li-Ion battery technology and has recently transferred the technology know-how to 10 different corporates for commercial production.

Those 10 companies include:

  1. Carborundum Universal

  2. Amara Raja Batteries

  3. BHEL

  4. Tata Chemicals

  5. Thermax

  6. Nalco

  7. Exicom Telesystems

  8. GOCL corporation

  9. Jyoti CNC automation

  10. Sukhbir Agro energy.

Apart from these, several other firms like Epsilon Advanced materials, iPower, Ola electric, and Ather have ambitious plans for battery manufacturing in India. You can expect a couple of Mega factories and a few Gigafactories in India too. It's time to sharpen your battery skills.

2. Electric motors 🚗

The electric motor is the prime mover in an EV. It's the second most costly equipment in the electric vehicle. With different motor technology, varying performance and size needs mean there is a continuous need for innovation in this space.

Increasing EV sales would have a proportionate increase in the electric motor requirement. Many OEMs would want to manufacture or assemble these motors in-house.

Here the base technology and physics may remain the same, but the focus would be on customization, efficiency improvement, light-weighting, and size reduction. Those who have an electrical bent of mind should start getting their basics right and be prepared to grab the opportunity in eDrive space.

3. BMS & Software development 👨‍💻

One of the most intelligent parts of an electric vehicle component is Battery Management System (BMS). BMS is the brain behind the battery box, it determines the performance, charging speed, range, efficiency, battery life, etc. With increased connectivity and 5G on the horizon, BMS would also be helpful in collecting live data about the Battery over its lifecycle which will improve diagnosis, prognosis and facilitate over-the-air updates.

Around the year 2040, when other components like Battery and electric motor would become a commodity the one which can hold its value would be BMS because of the endless possibilities in capturing & delivering data to improve the way we operate electric vehicles

This is where India's logical minds and “Information technology might” would come in handy. If approached correctly India can become the world's "BMS software hub"

4. Power Electronics ⚡⚡

If BMS is the brain behind the Battery box, Power electronics is the workhorse of electric vehicle which make things happen.

Power electronic systems are responsible for converting and controlling electric power in an EV. Operations at high voltage or high current can be efficiently executed by utilizing power electronic devices, as they can deliver faster switching rates at higher efficiency. In addition, power electronics control both unidirectional as well as the bidirectional flow of energy. Depending on the usage, the regenerated energy can be sent back to the utility.

The list of EV components which can be termed as power electronics are: (i) Motor controller or Inverter, (ii) On-board charger, (iii) DC-DC converter, (iv) Power Distribution Unit (PDU)

The Global market size of EV power electronics is set to reach $30.01 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 35.5%. This is an area where Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) can participate in a profitable growth

5. Charging Infrastructure 🔌🔋

Charging infrastructure would serve as the backbone of the electric vehicle industry. It is a sector that would be dominated by non-Auto players, though Auto OEMs may play a minor role.

Being a customer-facing function it's the most transaction-intensive business. Job opportunities are immense for those who have transferable skill sets. The following sub-sectors would employ most of the current Auto OEM's Sales, Service, Marketing, and Network related professionals

  • Charging system manufacturers

  • Payment gateway providers

  • Customer-facing App providers

  • Mapping agencies

  • Utility providers - The one who provides power to the charging stations

  • Infrastructure - The one who offers space to install charging stations (City authorities, Business establishments, Hospitality, and Leisure centers)

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Team "EV Quotient"

(EV Quotient is a platform to discuss and learn about electric vehicles. It’s an initiative by a team of experienced Automotive professionals with Global Exposure)


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