“Right now, the global production for electric vehicles is around two million. The projections are around 10 million or more by 2025, and then 40 million plus by 2030,”

The world faces an ever-widening gap between current levels of greenhouse gas emissions and the reduction in levels that must be met in order to mitigate the worst impacts of global climate change. As documented by the United Nation’s Emissions Gap Report 2021, the world is currently on track to reach an average temperature rise of 2.7°C, well over the target of 1.5°C. In a globalized, predominantly capitalist economy, the incentives for sustainable growth and profit are often at odds with environmental sustainability.

Decarbonization actions in the global automotive industry The global transport sector is responsible for 14%, or 7 billion tons, of greenhouse gas emissions (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC). As the world’s governments, societies, and economies push towards decarbonization to mitigate the worst effects of climate change, the automotive industry must engage with this global mandate.

Keys to this industry’s current response are:

  • Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) – automobile manufacturers ensure the use of renewable energy through PPAs with their utilities.
  • Energy Reduction and Reuse – industrial internet of things (IIoT) technologies help optimize operations to reduce energy use and loss and reduce downtime. Leading global automotive manufacturers, including GM, Honda, Volkswagen, Ford, Toyota, and Nissan, have taken important steps towards PPAs and energy reduction and reuse. Successfully deploying initiatives towards decarbonization, however, requires an acknowledgement and embrace of complexities and challenges within the current state of the industry.

Today, according to IPCC, the transport sector accounts for approximately 14% (=7 Billion tons) of global greenhouse gas emissions, of which an estimated 45% comes from passenger vehicles, and nearly 30% from road freight. As the use phase of Electric Vehicles (EV) significantly reduces carbon emissions, OEMs have significantly increased EV development programs and set sales targets to transition from Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) to EV. OEMs are also increasingly turning toward digital solutions to improve energy usage and condition monitoring of their facilities, adopting renewable energy, and turning toward new innovations during manufacturing stages

EV Production to Overtake ICE by 2040: EV Sales are expected to surpass ICE sales by 2030. With the rise of EVs, vehicle production facilities around the world will have to adapt and modernize in order to accommodate the greater volumes of EV production. In addition, the shift to EV production will lead to higher carbon emissions during vehicle production stage, resulting in increasing needs for facility decarbonization initiatives.

Driving down vehicle weight is key to EV performance and also plays a key role in decarbonizing the automotive industry. More than 5kg of weight per vehicle can be achieved by reducing coating thicknesses. We are engaged with EV manufacturers on this point.

Materials Innovation for Automotive Efficiency and Reducing Lifecycle Emissions

We have spent the last five years driving our coating technology to minimum thickness while still maintaining specification requirements in the automotive industry. We have developed clear, translucent and opaque coatings below 2 micron dry film thickness for aluminum, magnesium, and more recently TPO, ABS, PP and other surfaces. We use unique curing techniques along with unique nanotechnology to enable light weight coating alternatives to minimize weight and reduce CO2 emissions.

Traditional clear coatings in the automotive industry for metals vary in coating thickness between 30 – 70 micron, while opaque coatings vary from 70 -100 micron. Our coating technology can significantly reduce required coating thickness while still achieving desired specification requirements. We have successfully achieved opaque coatings on aluminum at 1.5 micron DFT. A unique approach to achieving anti corrosion properties is also key in achieving coating performance on metals. This unique approach can also be tailored to introduce other coating properties such as anti bacterial and scratch resistance. This is a significant technical step toward reducing overall vehicle weight in automotive applications.