The global automotive industry is investing $1.2 trillion in developing electric vehicles, offering new suppliers a golden opportunity to win contracts to provide everything from battery packs to motors to inverters.
Startups specializing in batteries and coatings to protect EV components, as well as suppliers traditionally focused on niche motorsport and Formula One (F1) racing, have pursued EV contracts.
Automakers design their platforms to last 10 years, so production models can generate significant revenue for many years.
With the next generation of EVs from automakers such as BMW due to arrive around 2025, many automakers are looking for help to fill the expertise gap, providing a window of opportunity for new suppliers. .
Nick Fry, CEO of Formula 1 engineering and technology company McLaren Applied, said:
“This is a huge opportunity for a company like ours.”
Acquired from McLaren by private equity firm Grable Capital in 2021, McLaren Applied has adopted an efficient inverter developed for Formula 1 racing in its EVs. Inverters help control the flow of electricity to and from the battery pack.
A silicon carbide IPG5 inverter weighs just 5.5 kg (12 lbs) and can increase EV range by more than 7%.
Fry said McLaren Applied is working with about 20 automakers and suppliers, and the inverter will be in mass-produced luxury EV models from January 2025.
Mass-market automakers often prefer to develop their EV components in-house and own the technology themselves. After years of pandemic-related parts shortages, they are wary of over-reliance on suppliers.
“We can’t rely on a third party to make these investments,” said Tim Surratt, Ford’s UK chief.
Traditional suppliers such as German giants Bosch and Continental are also investing heavily in EVs and other technologies to stay ahead in a rapidly changing industry.
But smaller companies say they still have an opportunity, especially low-volume manufacturers who can’t afford to invest heavily in EVs, and luxury and high-performance automakers looking for an edge. says that there is
Croatia’s Rimac, an electric hypercar maker partly owned by Germany’s Porsche, also supplies battery systems and powertrain components to other automakers, but a privately held German automaker has built a high-performance model. The company says it will use the Rimac battery system for 2020 and will produce about 40,000 vehicles a year. – Since this year, more sign-ups have taken place.
“We need to be 20%, 30% better than what they can do and they will work with us,” says CEO Mate Rimac. “If they can make a 100-kilowatt-hour battery pack, they must make a 130-kilowatt battery pack with the same dimensions at the same cost.”