Energy-efficient production of electric cars

The production of electric cars is one of the most forward-looking industries of the present day. Sustainable and efficient production requires not only modern production facilities but also high-performance intralogistics.

energy efficiency

By suitably optimizing production and intralogistics, manufacturers of electric cars can further improve their energy efficiency.

In the wake of climate change, electromobility is on the rise worldwide. The air pollution caused by CO2 emissions from combustion engines has led to dramatic changes in the environment. Politicians and industry have recognized that a rethink is needed. As a way out of the misery, the car with electric drive is considered the most promising solution.

This is not just about the CO2 emissions of vehicles on the road. In a holistic view, the manufacturing process of electric cars must also be included in the carbon footprint. In 2017, a study was conducted by scientists at the IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute. The result was a sobering conclusion for supporters of electric mobility. It seemed to emerge that electric cars would have no ecological advantage over vehicles with internal combustion engines simply because of the costly production of the drive in the form of lithium-ion batteries . In 2017, the study concluded that an electric vehicle had already lost its global warming potential before the first kilometer driven on the road. Thus, at that time, a vehicle with an electric drive was ecologically no better than an economical combustion engine.

The latest findings lead to different results. This is due, on the one hand, to the fact that the demand for electrical energy for the production of batteries for electric vehicles is lower than originally assumed. The second positive argument in favor of electric propulsion is that the respective production plants are now predominantly powered by electricity from renewable sources. These two factors have improved the view of electric cars.

One argument that is still missing from this consideration is the conditions under which the production of electric cars takes place. There is additional potential in the optimization of production and intralogistics processes in the automotive industry to improve the life cycle assessment in the manufacture of electric vehicles. This should be exploited.

By using, for example, highly efficient monorail transport systems from montratec, the intralogistics in your company can be optimized. This reduces manufacturing costs and at the same time makes a positive contribution to the environmental balance.

Because energy efficiency, rising electricity prices and the demand for more sustainability in the production of electric cars are becoming more and more important, energy-efficient intralogistics systems, such as t the intelligent monorail and shuttle transport system from montratec, are increasingly coming into focus. It has a comparatively very low power consumption, as the transport shuttles only consume power during the journey, and is therefore environmentally friendly and resource-saving. In addition, the direct feed at the shuttle drive minimizes line losses and further reduces the energy consumption of the montrac® system. Energy-efficient intralogistics systems make a positive contribution to the energy balance in production companies.

Changes in the production infrastructure due to e-mobility

In the production of motor vehicles, a number of things have changed with the start of electric car production. In terms of appearance, cars with electric drives hardly differ from vehicles powered by an internal combustion engine. However, many components such as:

  • Starter motor

  • Catalyst

  • Piston

  • Clutch

  • Oil pump

  • Alternator

  • Exhaust

  • Tank

are no longer necessary in a vehicle with an electric motor. For example, the drive technology of an internal combustion engine consists of more than a thousand different individual parts. The electric drive needs only a few hundred parts to function. Roughly speaking, the ratio here is about ten to one in favor of the electric motor. This means simpler production processes and changes in the production infrastructure with regard to manufacturing.

The electrically powered motor vehicle only requires a large and powerful battery and additional electronics to drive. As a result, in addition to an adjustment of the production infrastructure, this also leads to a lower demand for labor and thus to a reduction in jobs in e-mobility.

The structures of suppliers to the automotive industry are also changing. For example, all the components needed to convert combustion energy into rotary motion in the engine are no longer required. The same applies to transmission manufacturers: Whereas the internal combustion engine requires a multi-gear transmission to keep the engine speed relatively constant, the electric motor manages with a simple single-gear transmission to develop a similar torque regardless of speed. Overall, this significantly reduces the number of steps in the production of an electric motor and leads to a less complex production infrastructure in your plant.

Transport & processing of individual parts

The work steps in the production of electric cars are fundamentally different from those in the production of vehicles with combustion engines. The simpler design of the electric drive not only reduces the number of components required, but also the number of production steps that are essential for the manufacture of an internal combustion engine. On the other hand, the weight of the lithium-ion batteries in the electric vehicle is almost one third of the total weight. This means, for example, that the base plate of the electric car has to be much stronger.

With the changeover to e-mobility, and in particular to new manufacturing methods for new, even more powerful lithium-ion batteries, new intralogistics solutions are also required. Special transport systems with lifting functions, hoists or stacker cranes are needed to be able to transport lithium-ion batteries, the heaviest component of the electric car in terms of weight. This is where existing transport systems quickly reach their limits. But the large number of new components for the electric car also makes adjustments to intralogistics solutions essential for efficient production.

Use of monorail transport systems as an energy-efficient intralogistics solution i in e-mobility

For the sustainable production of electric cars, an energy-efficient in-plant transport system is essential, as . in addition to time and cost savings in production, aspects of environmental protection are increasingly coming to the fore. Electrically driven, intelligent transport systems powered by energy-efficient direct current are characterized by higher efficiency. This makes it possible to reduce electricity consumption in the production of electric cars.

The monorail transport system from montratec, for example, offers the aforementioned prerequisites for lower power consumption in intralogistics. The energy-efficient intralogistics solution convinces with the following advantages:

  • Integrated power supply of all electrically operated components with energy-efficient DC power directly via the monorail

  • Ecologically consumption-optimized operation, as the transport shuttles only consume power while in motion

  • Transport shuttle with integrated power supply (on-board power supply) for external consumers

  • Minimal power consumption of electrically operated components such as switches and control unit

  • Efficiency-optimized drive on the transport shuttle

  • Minimal wear

  • Minimal particle emission and fine dust generation 100 % antistatic / electromagnetically compatible

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In contrast to the belt transporter with permanently running motors, the transport shuttles only consume electricity during travel. They draw this power directly from the DC busbar integrated in the monorail.

Each transport shuttle also has an integrated energy supply for external consumers. This makes it possible to carry out test and inspection processes directly on the shuttle while the goods are still being transported. This means time savings in production, as transport time is converted into valuable production time.

The drive rollers of the transport shuttles ensure minimum abrasion and minimum wear thanks to a unique special rubber coating and a precise contact surface on the monorail.

montratec's transport system is 100% antistatic and electromagnetically compatible, thus it complies with the DIN standards EN 61000-6-2:2005 and EN 61000-6-4:2011.

Conclusion

In order to make the production of electric cars energy efficient and thus sustainable, , energy efficient intralogistics is also an important factor. With the use of the monorail transport system from montratec, a sustainable intralogistics solution is available: due to the ecologically consumption-optimized operation and the comparatively very low power consumption, it is not only environmentally friendly and resource-saving, but also contributes significantly to the increase of energy efficiency, CO2 savings and cost reduction in the networked material flow management of e-mobility.