Sustainability and supply chains – new values for the future

Automotive mobility is undergoing a process of deep change. Old values are fading; new ones are coming into focus. In future, potential EV buyers may well be more interested in the eco-balance than the range. People want to use their vehicles with a clear conscience. So for manufacturers, committing to sustainability – and perhaps even assuming eco-social responsibility – will be a must. Obviously, that responsibility will extend down into supply chains, where globalized and heavily monopolized procurement processes will be up for scrutiny. When an acute shortage of semiconductors puts the brakes on automobile production, as happened recently, action must be taken. Becoming independent of fluctuating prices and raw material shortages is another important task.

CTI SYMPOSIUM Berlin – a holistic take on electric mobility

In addition to technical innovations, the topic field ‘Market, Strategy and Supply Chain’ is sure to spark plenty of discussion this year. While the current shift in values is certainly challenging, it is also driving progress. For companies, intelligent commitment pays off in the form of a competitive advantage. We will be examining this trend in a dedicated session, as well as in numerous other contributions. As a special highlight, the panel discussion on ‘The interaction between drivetrain technology and social responsibility in the supply chain’ promises to yield interesting insights.

Eco balance (Life Cycle Assessment) – a clear framework for ambitious goals

Often, automobile CO2 emissions are evaluated only in the form of ‘well-to-wheel’ assessments. As Volker Ludwig (Magna Powertrain, Germany) will point out, this overlooks key areas such as production and recycling. Hence, Magna is striving for a comprehensive ecological balance (Life Cycle Assessment) that includes all emissions from ‘cradle-to-grave’.

Another issue that will increasingly confront the automotive industry is Social Due Diligence. This means assessing suppliers and sub-suppliers to ensure that human rights are complied with along the supply chain. Using various Magna transmissions and drive solutions as examples, Volker Ludwig will show what measures Magna is currently taking to tackle both issues. Summing up, he says: “Our goal is to bring to market a socially responsible product that ultimately, has a zero carbon footprint.”

Using examples of a holistic vehicle view today and in 2030, the speaker will illustrate how this Life Cycle Analysis is applied. It will be interesting to learn how Magna continuously integrates Life Cycle Assessment and Due Diligence into its development and procurement processes. Finally, Volker Ludwig will show in detail options for minimizing CO2 emissions over a vehicle’s life cycle, taking various hybrid drives and transmissions as his examples. He will explain the central role played by the material supply chain, where the use of secondary aluminium and steel, as well as renewable energies in production, represent significant levers. The goal: to create a consistent eco-social approach for all future Magna drive products and all applications, from ICE-only through HEV and PHEV to BEV and FCEV.

Higher power density for more sustainability

Production volumes in the field of mobility will experience huge growth year by year. Valuable raw materials such as copper, magnets or electrical steel will become expensive and rare. At present, supply chain disruption and extreme uncertainty in the energy market are exacerbating the situation. Against this backdrop, Mathias Deiml (AVL Software and Functions GmbH, Germany) sees risks for the growth of e-mobility, and pleads for long-term sustainability in e-drive production. AVL proposes increasing the power density of electric motors, saying this would help to improve sustainability in terms of both cost and material availability. Matthias Deiml will also consider other factors that affect sustainability, such as traction voltage or engine type.

The new, second generation of AVL high-speed motors delivers an outstanding power density of >12kw/kg without the need for costly magnets or electrical sheets. AVL uses the motors in an electric drive unit (EDU) that is optimized at system level for power density and efficiency. Mathias Deiml will present concept details, and also results from bench and in-vehicle testing. Each of the main components – e-motor, inverter and transmission – contributes to improving efficiency: the inverter uses fast-switching SiC components, while injection lubrication and FEM-optimized gear meshing support high efficiency in the transmission. The EDU technologies are scalable and can be used in vehicle classes ranging from premium to sub-compact. At vehicle level, the speaker will also present the torque vectoring feature, as well as results from simulation and real vehicle testing of the high-speed EDU.

Watch out – the invaders from consumer electronics are coming!

Dr Yu Yang (Yole Développement, France) will be bringing a concise market analysis to Berlin. The influx of new, high-investment players throughout the BEV supply chain is in full swing. Most of them share a common background: consumer electronics. The latest examples include Xiaomi, Sony, Foxconn and Luxshare, and nobody would be surprised if another big name announced it was entering the EV industry soon. In addition to well-known brands, consumer electronics suppliers such as Huawei, Media and others are also gaining ground. New competition is expected primarily in the fields of smart cockpits, autonomous driving, and powertrains. One reason for this trend is the value shift within EVs towards electronics, software and services. The new players have experience in all these fields, albeit in a different context.

In a detailed examination of leading electronics OEMs and suppliers, Dr Yu Yang will show how contract manufacturing and in-house manufacturing exist side-by-side. Integrated e-axles, in combination with other high-voltage systems and controllers, attract most investment. Typically, the supply chain for consumer electronics follows a strategy of rapid growth in which economies of scale outweigh margins. The new players also have better access to semiconductors – another important success factor in powertrain electrification. According to Dr Yu Yang, a combination of highly standardized, sealed chassis and contract manufacturing will become more popular in the age of EVs.

As the examples show, important new players have evolved within just a few years. Hence, existing players must recognize the challenges and prepare for them on different levels. Dr Yu Yang’s talk will provide important information to inform and help shape their strategies.

Optimizing costs as energy prices rise: a charging infrastructure puzzle for e-buses

Municipalities and citizens are agreed that diesel-powered buses should vanish from cities as soon as possible. Until then, the challenge facing fleet operators is how best to electrify their operations incrementally. One key factor involves growing and running the charging infrastructure. In his talk, Benjamin Daniel Blat Belmonte (Technical University Darmstadt, Germany) will use the example of a public transport company to turn the spotlight on another topical aspect: the rising energy prices that drive up operating costs by making fuel and electricity more expensive.

Planning the charging infrastructure of a partially electrified bus fleet can be seen as an optimization problem that aims to minimize costs and emissions. As Benjamin Daniel Blat Belmonte will show, an existing optimization framework for the charging infrastructure of line transport systems, developed at the Institute for Mechatronic Systems (IMS), was used to analyze the effects of fluctuating energy prices. This framework is based on multiple periods, and performs fleet management tasks implicitly for fleet operators who assign vehicles to predefined trips on each representative day, based on their consumption profile. The problem is formulated in Pyomo as a Mixed Integer Linear Programming (MILP) task. The use of Pyomo makes it easy to adapt to applications, and to input boundary data in a flexible way.

In-depot charging point candidates are particularly relevant for optimization results, although on-route points also signify. As Benjamin Daniel Blat Belmonte will explain, multiple optimizations are calculated, based on a common reference scenario and differing energy costs. This procedure offers fleet operators strategic options for charging infrastructures and cost optimization when energy supply chains are in turmoil.

CTI SYMPOSIUM Berlin – an event with a lasting effect

Sustainability and supply chains are just two of the important topics on the agenda at CTI Symposium Berlin. Both terms describe current topics, and also apply to the symposium itself. With an extensive programme of twelve technical sessions, multiple highlights in the plenum and top-notch speakers and guests, high yields for participants are assured. Backed by a flawless supply chain, the exhibitors at our CTI SYMPOSIUM EXPO are well prepared for visitors. And at the CTI SYMPOSIUM TEST DRIVE, a whole fleet of test vehicles awaits you.


Welcome to Berlin!