Automotive > Powertrain, Body, Chassis & Safety Blog

EVS27 – Growing Interest in Electrification, New Players Entering Automotive

by Kevin Mak | Nov 25, 2013

Some 4,010 visitors attended the 27th Electric Vehicle Symposium at Barcelona, compared to around 5,000 visitors to the previous EVS26 held at the larger Los Angeles Convention Center in May 2012.

  • EVS was originally founded as an academic circle that presented research papers on electrified transportation projects. 
  • But as a sign of the growing importance of electrification in automotive, EVS27 saw more research papers being presented by major auto makers and suppliers.  These papers include Hyundai on its enhancement of clutch control that has increased the efficiency of its full hybrid powertrain system and Honda on the development of its new full hybrid powertrain system. 
  • Among the exhibitors were auto makers, such as BMW with its i3, Nissan with its e-NV200 now being assembled in Barcelona, Renault with its ZE range and the Volkswagen Group with the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid, SEAT Leon Verde Concept and Volkswagen XL1 plug-in hybrids, as well as new OEMs, such as GreenGo with its Chinese-assembled iCarO neighborhood electric vehicle. 
  • Also exhibiting were major suppliers of electrification systems, such as Lear with its chargers, Maxwell with its ultracapacitors for stop-start, Saft with its new 48 volt batteries for mild hybrids, Yazaki with its charging connectors and Tier 1 vendors, such as Valeo.
  • But most importantly is the gathering of non-automotive corporations at the Show that are also needed to ensure the future success of the plug-in vehicle market – namely power companies that can form charging infrastructures, public authorities and city planners that coordinate transportation policy where plug-in vehicles can be used to lower traffic congestion and pollution, communication providers that can enable consumers to use smartphones to hire electric vehicles and to pay for electric vehicle charging.


An interesting feature of EVS27 was the presence of Cummins and John Deere, which could both potentially be entering the light vehicle electrification market.

  • Cummins displayed its modular CorePlus hybrid system.  It uses the same 90 kW hardware for various levels of electrification, but targeting mild hybrid trucks, consisting of an integrated starter-generator and power electronics module with control software. While the vendor is an active supplier to buses and heavy and medium duty trucks, it is also seeking new business from the light truck segment.
  • John Deere displayed information on its new 644K Hybrid Wheel Loader, essentially an excavator with a stop-start system, at the Show.  It is marketing its motor inverters for hybrid powertrain applications on all truck classes.
  • What the above shows is a growing interest among heavy duty truck vendors to enter the light vehicle market and the growing competition this will mean in electrified powertrains.
  • Strategy Analytics has published a more detailed Insight report on EVS27 and the entry of these heavy duty truck vendors in the electrification market in the light vehicle segments: Heavy Truck Players Attempt To Enter Light Vehicle Electrification Market.

Among the exhibitors and speakers was Qualcomm, which presented a further update on its inductive charging technology.

  • The recent decision by the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) to adopt 85 kHz as the frequency for wireless charging.  This is the same frequency as used by Qualcomm in its development of inductive charging systems.
  • Further details of the forthcoming Formula E electric vehicle racing series were also given, including Qualcomm’s involvement in providing telemetry data communication and inductive charging for the pace cars in the first season, starting in September 2014, and for racing cars in the second season. 
  • Strategy Analytics has published an Insight report on the update from Qualcomm and how this could affect the potential for inductive charging to be adopted and Qualcomm’s position as a potential player in the automotive market: FIA Formula E and SAE J-2954 Standard Advance Qualcomm's Position in Wireless Charging Electric Vehicles.


A Viewpoint report on the current state-of-play in OEM electrification strategies has also been published: OEM Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Strategies: Emissions Mandates Will Grow Demand.  It reports on:

  • The tightening mandates that are forcing more auto makers to develop or to accelerate the development of electrified powertrains, with emphasis on more accurate driving tests and the likely requirement of reducing nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions and not just carbon dioxide;
  • The incremental improvements that are being made until a breakthrough battery chemistry will appear in the long-term;
  • The state-of-play of rival alternative powertrain systems such as hydrogen fuel cells; 
  • The potential threat posed by the new electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors on current players, and;
  • The state-of-play of electrification technologies. 
  • It includes a data file with the latest Strategy Analytics system demand forecast for different hybrid and electric vehicle powertrains.
[updated with report links]
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