The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Opec, and big oil companies around the world are looking at the growing popularity of electric cars anew, and revising their forecasts, according to a new report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
The prospect of a massive trend that shows consumers turning away from petrol-driven vehicles would have huge implications for the oil industry.
The market for electric cars in China is huge already and it’s growing at almost an exponential rate annually.
Commentators in the country include electric cars in the category called “new energy vehicles”, which also refers to hybrid energy vehicles, and are saying the market will be further accelerated as a result of government backing.
The growth in popularity of electric vehicles in China alone, even if it’s a trend not followed anywhere else in the world, is enough to drive the automotive market to make fundamental changes to the way it manufactures cars as well as the raw materials and fuels it uses.
The Volkswagen Group is researching ways in which robots can be used in the future when cars become more electrified and computerised as a result of increasing demand for clean and autonomous vehicles.
The German automaker, which owns the Audi, Bentley, Seat, Porsche and Lamborghini brands among others, is working one of the world’s largest industrial robotics and automation providers, Kuka, to research and develop a number of ideas.
With Volvo’s decision to go all electric in its future vehicles, combined with the French government’s decision to ban sales of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 and similar moves in Germany, the automotive industry is preparing for a tectonic shift in the manufacturing landscape.
The way electric cars are made already differ considerably now, and new techniques will take the production of the new vehicles further away from traditional methods.
In the first of a series of articles about large industrial companies, we list 20 of the leading automakers in the world in order of their last reported annual revenue amount, and highlight some of their more interesting developments in autonomous technologies.
Automakers are have long been the largest market for industrial robotics and automation systems, but also, more recently, the vehicles they produce have become more robotic.
China’s enthusiasm for new technology, combined with its paranoia about being left behind in a globally intensifying high-tech competition, sometimes leads it to create small bubbles in its economy which may or may not dissipate in the disciplined manner in which the markets they encompass may have emerged in the first place.
Bosch – one of the world’s largest industrial companies, producing a wide variety of engineered products, from automotive components to home appliances – has reported increased sales for the year 2016.
In a press conference last week to launch the German giant’s annual report, Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner listed the key figures:
sales rose from €70.6 billion in 2015 to €73.1 billion last year; and
earnings before tax in 2016 reached a total of €4.3 billion.
Sales in all business segments and geographical regions had increased, added Denner.
Volkswagen has unveiled what it says is its first autonomous concept car, describing it as a “comfortable lounge on wheels”.
The company claims to be the first automobile manufacturer to present an integrated mobility concept for mobility of the future in road traffic, including a concept car developed from scratch for autonomous driving.
Volkswagen says “Sedric”, the name of the new self-driving car, provides an insight into the future of individual mobility that can be used by everyone, but which can be geared to personal needs.
ABB and Nova Bus have partnered to meet what they see as the “growing need for electric buses and charging infrastructure in North America”
ABB, an engineering company specializing in automotive energy technologies, and Nova Bus, the North American buses manufacturer and division of Volvo Buses, have entered a business collaboration that consists of the delivery of the first ABB’s electric bus “opportunity charger” in North America.
This collaboration reflects Nova Bus plans to keep investing in climate action by offering charging stations and electrified bus solutions to major cities in the United States and Canada.
Derek Monk, general manager, ABB in Canada, says: “Transportation can be one of the biggest contributors to climate change. Supporting Nova Bus with ABB’s innovative charging solution will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The government of Slovenia has decided to back Yaskawa’s investment in the country with €5.6 million of public money.
Yaskawa is building a factory in the country and plans to invest a total of €25 million in the European nation of just over 2 million people.
Prime Minister Miro Cerar said at the time: ““I am very pleased that our efforts paid off and that the renowned Japanese company of Yaskawa Electric decided to invest in Slovenia.”
The Yaskawa investment is forecast to create more than 170 new jobs and the industrial giant is regarded as the “most important Japanese company” with assets in the country by the Slovenian government.