The global market for electric mobility is growing fast with 2018’s count expected to come to some two million newly manufactured vehicles. Annual growth rates of 60 percent and automakers' forecasts suggest that around 20 million electric cars will be produced annually by 2025. All these vehicles need batteries and fuel cells. The most pressing questions about manufacturing, recycling, source materials, life cycle assessment, and the development of new materials will figure prominently at the 16th install-ment of the Ulm ElectroChemical Talks (UECT) on November 13 and 14. The conference’s organizer, the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW), expects more than 300 research and industry representatives from at home and abroad to attend this year’s event.
The automotive industry is poised for its perhaps most transformative era since Henry Ford invented the assembly line. The electric drive is taking the sector by storm. New key technologies such as lithium-ion batteries and high-performance fuel cells are also making inroads. Efforts are underway to integrate this tech into automaking along the entire value chain. Companies are scrambling to develop the skills and invest vast sums needed to meet spiking demand.
This raises many questions: What technologies will dominate the generations of products to come? Can new manufacturing technologies drive down costs? Where are the necessary raw materials going to come from and what energy footprints will these products have over their entire lifecycle? Will fuel cells help make e-mobility even more appealing?