The Drive for Electric Cars
Ferro materials help electrify the auto industry
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Ferro products that drive the development of electric vehicles
To this end, many countries have announced targets to ban the sale of new gas and diesel vehicles in the future, notably Germany (by 2030), China (2030), Great Britain (2035) and France (2040). Sales of those types of vehicles have already begun falling in kind. And as a result, automotive giants that for more than a century perfected a model of volume car manufacturing powered by fossil fuels are investing billions to develop new electrified models.
Through our leadership position in glass coatings and electronic materials, Ferro has tracked developments in the automotive market over many years. We have been instrumental in the development of specialty black bands and conductive silver pastes for automotive glass, to meet changing market needs driven, for example, by modern car designs and complex glass shapes, fuel-efficiency light-weighting and end-of-life vehicle regulations. Now, as the automotive market undergoes its latest transformation, our materials remain closely associated with battery-operated electric cars.
For example, with the growth in electric vehicles comes a significant increase in the number and variety of sensors installed in cars. This smart technology creates new demand for solutions for our sealing glasses and precious metal pastes, needed for the production of various sensor types.
Another example where Ferro provides a viable answer to the e-mobility trend are Heater-on-Steel (HOS) products which require robust and rigid substrates. Heating elements have very diverse applications in modern vehicles, not least for interior air conditioning or as auxiliary electrical heaters to provide the desired level of thermal comfort. In electric vehicles, however, the interior cannot be heated using heat lost as a by-product from the combustion engine. Instead, printed heating elements based on thick-film technology are a better solution, as well as a highly viable alternative to the common PTC-heaters or conventional tubular heaters for interior air conditioning. Ferro HOS-thick film electronic materials are particularly suitable for these applications as they are very efficient (with low energy consumption), ensure simple and fast temperature control and can withstand the most demanding conditions.
As a leading electric car manufacturer already selling hundreds of thousands of all-electric cars annually, Tesla is a key user of glass enamels – developed by Ferro engineers and international technical service teams – for gravity bend and complex press-bend laminated windshields, as well as tempered glass backlights that are used on several Tesla models. In North America, these materials are used on glass parts supplied by Sekurit Saint Gobain (SSG), Mexico and AGC, USA to Tesla, California. And in Asia, by Fuyao, China and SSG, China for Tesla’s new Shanghai operations.
Additionally, we have developed special glass enamels for SSG in Germany that are used on deep bend tempered glass backlights supplied to BMW for their i3 and i8 all-electric car models.