The electrification developments shaping the automotive industry | HCLTech

The electrification developments shaping the automotive industry

The development of electrification technology is shaping the future of the automotive industry
 
4 minutes read
Nicholas Ismail
Nicholas Ismail
Global Head of Brand Journalism, HCLTech
4 minutes read
The electrification developments shaping the automotive industry

There are currently many developments in what Dr. Miroslav Mihajlov – Senior Program Manager, Electrification Solutions at HCLTech refers to as the electric powertrain, which represents the main components that generate and deliver power to the road surface for electric and hybrid electric vehicles.

Development in batteries is one area that “must be improved further in terms of price, in terms of safety and in terms of carrying more capacity”, said Mihajlov, at VECS 2023—the event that focuses on the autonomous and electric future of transportation.

He also suggested that the production of batteries should be more sustainable.

Other developments in the electric powertrain include inverters and onboard chargers with bi-directional charging capabilities, which ensure batteries can provide energy for vehicles and at the same time, store that energy.

“Bi-directional charging with smart charging algorithms gives us the possibility to give energy back to the grid or home or other vehicle when the energy price is high.

New technology brings news players

The advent of advancing electrification technology has brought significant changes to the automotive ecosystem, including OEMs and tier 1 suppliers.

In addition, this industry shakeup has brought “new players to the game from countries where the production of vehicles was not so developed in the past. Technology and software companies are entering the automotive industry and developing components, like batteries”, said Mihajlov.

He added: “What’s interesting is that OEMs are now also developing batteries and even battery cells.”

Electrification at scale

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The next steps

Looking at the key next steps needed to transform the automotive industry and deliver electrification at scale, Mihajlov explains:

“Regulatory bodies need to continue to empower OEMs to further test and develop electric vehicles. Then, ecosystem partners need to continue working together to improve electrification and the ability to improve both private and public vehicle charging. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done in this area. OEMs must also create new business models to reach profitability, production and after-sale targets of electric vehicles.”

In addition, there needs to be a significant mindset shift within the customer. While electric vehicle sales are on the rise, with 10 million sold in 2022 and that figure expected to grow by 35% in 2023 to reach 14 million, this is still a small fraction of all vehicles sold. Governments and the automotive industry to help make sustainable mobility more attractive to the consumer from a price and ease of use perspective. This will help drive the required mindset shift needed and see adoption levels rise.

Charging electric progress in automotive

HCLTech has a holistic role to play in helping the automotive industry realize its electrification ambitions.

“We cover the development of the electric powertrain across the value chain, including batteries, chargers, traction inverters and then help set up the right tools and systems to deliver agile software development of these technologies, as well as hardware offerings,” said Mihajlov.

He added: “Outside the vehicle, we have developed a digital data platform built on the cloud, called Picasso*. This works on top of the connected ecosystem of the vehicle to monitor and analyze data to drive insights and enable an accelerated time to market.”

In addition, HCLTech has signed a definitive agreement to acquire ASAP Group, an automotive engineering services provider. 

Headquartered in Ingolstadt, Germany, ASAP is focused on future-oriented automotive technologies in areas such as autonomous driving, e-mobility and connectivity. ASAP serves top automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and tier 1 suppliers in Germany. ASAP’s services portfolio comprises electrics/electronics, software, consulting, service testing and validation and vehicle development. ASAP has over 1,600 employees across nine locations in Germany.

Commenting on the news, Hari Sadarahalli, Corporate Vice President, Engineering and R&D Services at HCLTech, said: “Core engineering is at the heart of HCLTech’s DNA and truly differentiates our services portfolio. ASAP has developed some exciting capabilities in automotive engineering, and we share their vision for future of mobility. This agreement will enable us to scale these capabilities and innovations across our global network."

He added: “This investment also reinforces our commitment to Germany, which is a focus market for us. We will continue to nurture local talent and innovation ecosystem to unlock their potential.”

Michael Neisen, CEO at the ASAP Group, also said: “We are confident that the combination of HCLTech and ASAP’s engineering and technology performance will bring best-in-class advantages to the automotive industry worldwide.”

*PICASSO is a framework to build and implement digital service platforms on top of a connected ecosystem of assets. It accelerates go-to-market time by offering robust and industrialized pre-built functional and core modules that can be rapidly orchestrated, assembled, and extended to create the platforms.

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