GLOBAL ELECTRIC VEHICLE MAGNET WIRE MARKET
- The biggest players in the market are Essex Furukawa, and LS Cables and Systems. They will continue to remain in the top positions as they supply to the largest players in the market
- China and Europe will continue to have the largest EV markets and the power of motors utilized will keep increasing
- Rectangular wire will be the key technology utilized in this segment across vehicles
- Depending on the motor type, the wire usage will change drastically and OEMs will lookout for this to develop motors mainly due to efficiency
Magnet wire is an insulated copper or aluminum conductor used to wind motors, transformers, generators, and any other electrical device where electrical energy is converted to mechanical energy.
TRENDS IN EV MAGNET WIRE MARKET
Rectangular wire allows the engineer to design a motor with more copper in the unit. Round wire has more voids between the wires in the windings.
- Uniformity and degree of insulation
- Good electrical characteristics such as dielectric strength and insulation resistance
- Resistant coating to mechanical stress induced by bending, stretching, and friction
- Resistant to solvents, chemicals, and varnishes
- Resistant to hydrolytic degradation
- Stable when combined with insulating material
- Resistant to water and moisture
In terms of the coils of driving motors, the distributed winding method of round wires (whose cross section is round) and the concentrated winding method of rectangular wires (whose cross section is rectangular) used to be mainstream winding methods. Recently, the method trend is moving to the distributed winding method for rectangular wires as the technology advances.
ADVANTAGE AND DISADVANTAGE OF DISTRIBUTED WINDING MOTORS
Regarding the disadvantage of distributed winding motors (i.e., the coil end height is higher than that of concentrated winding motors), the coil end height is reduced to a level equivalent to that of concentrated winding motors by inserting a rectangular wire, which is divided into specified segments, into the iron core and then welding the edge for assembly.
Also, the use of rectangular wires has significantly improved the space factor. This achieves downsizing of the size, along with reductions in weight and loss due to the reduced amount of copper being used. The overall efficiency of the motor also increases due to the better space factor provided by rectangular wires.
REQUIREMENTS FOR NEW GEN TRACTION MOTORS
In line with the advancement of motors, magnet wires must meet the following requirements:
- Higher space factor: rectangular shape, reduced film thickness inconsistency, lower permittivity, and thinner films
- Higher voltage: thicker films, lower permittivity
- Downsizing of the coil end: processing resistance, heat resistance, welding resistance
- Higher rotation: conductors with lower eddy
- current loss
- Easier assembly: improved core insert ability
Inverter drive systems are used for driving motors for EVs. For some motors, the motor operation voltage has been increased by twice or more from the initial voltage.
At the coil end, it is necessary to ensure the insulation of magnet wires corresponding to the interphase voltage. Insulating members, such as interphase paper, were used in conventional products, but the increased thickness of the insulation film reduces such insulating members, making it possible to achieve downsizing and cost reduction.
Suppliers have looked into the uniform distribution of insulation film thickness for rectangular wires and developed a low-permittivity structure film whose insulation performance is higher than that of conventional film. The characteristics are excellent in terms of the resistance to degradation of wire treatment.
Meanwhile, the motor rotation has been increased to achieve downsizing and high-power output. For some motors, their rotation has been almost tripled from that of early products. High motor rotation requires an increased drive voltage. The high insulation performance films that we have been developing, as mentioned earlier, contribute to increasing the rotation
The decreasing wire used while increasing the efficiency of the wires is the main goal of suppliers. Wiring and magnets used in motors use minerals that are becoming increasingly scarce in supply which will cause issues in the supply chain. Recycling copper utilized as magnet wires as well as improving technology to reduce usage per motor will be of prime importance especially as EVs are gathering traction across various regions
EV Sales Globally-2020
Tesla Model 3 took the lead globally among plugged-in vehicles followed by Wuling Mini and Renault Zoe. Among the top 5 models, 2 were occupied by Tesla showcasing their global dominance. 4 PHEVs were also placed among the top 20 sold plugged-in vehicles.
China and Europe were the primary regions with plugged-in vehicle sales surpassing 2019 sales.
Chinese OEMs have a strong sales base at home and are looking to go abroad with their sales especially in regions with low EV sales as their EVs are lower in cost compared to other EVs.
The first 4 months of 2021 already showcased that the market is growing and is expected to overrun 2020 sales
EV Sales, By OEM Globally-2020
Tesla led among the brand sales globally followed by Volkswagen, BYD, SGMW, and BMW. The brands except for Tesla and Nio offer a mix of PHEVs and BEVs.
All OEMs will look to offer BEVs in the next 2-3 years to establish themselves for the change upcoming in the next 20 years where at least 40% of the new car sales will become plugged in.
Suppliers have come up with products for this shift and are also researching on developing new technology. The supply chain for products across electric vehicles is also being developed intensively looking into long-term deals especially among battery suppliers.
Factories across the world had to stop production due to chip shortage which is another aspect OEMs and suppliers will look closely into so that the recurrence doesn’t occur.
EV Sales in China-2020
China saw a ~12% increase in EV sales compared to 2019 in 2020. In 2020,Tesla Model 3 lead the sales followed by Wuling Mini EV, Baojun E-Series, GAC Aion S and BYD Qin Pro.
Tesla Model 3 saw sales mainly from Tier 1 and 2 cities, so did GAC Aion S. Wuling Mini EV saw sales mainly from Tier 4 and 5 cities. Of overall plugged-in vehicle sales, Tier 1 cities held 37%, Tier 2 held 21%, Tier 3 held 15%, Tier 4 held 14% and Tier 5 held 12%. The Chinese market is mainly held by domestic OEMs.
Due to COVID, the subsidies that were supposed to be phased out this year were extended for 2 more years at a 10% decrease every year. China also has a strong base for electric commercial vehicles and their OEMs such as BYD, Yutong, etc. are supplying electric buses globally even in regions such as Chile which have a weak electric vehicle market.
Supporting infrastructure such as charging stations and battery swapping are set up across the country. China is one of the countries with companies focusing on battery swapping to save time utilized at charging stations. The long-term feasibility and condition of battery supplied are to be looked out for as the business model is currently unchallenged on various aspects.
EV Sales in Europe-2020
While all regions across the globe saw a decrease in automobile vehicle sales due to COVID, Europe saw a rise in plugged-in vehicle sales mainly due to the incentives and subsidies that were offered across many countries.
Euro NCAP is also a motivating factor for OEMs to increase electrification among their fleet hence develop various plugged-in vehicles and also full electric vehicles. Cities are coming up with zero carbon emission rules thereby increasing electrified vehicle sales. Electrified vans will also see increased sales mainly among major city centers.
Europe is also seeing an extensive increase in charging networks and more focus is placed on 100+kW chargers across countries. Ionity is setting up 400 charging stations across European highways with 350 kW chargers. Governments have put in the effort to develop charging stations by offering subsidies and lowering electricity rates for charging stations.