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Electrical motors zoom in on cars

Posted: 09 Jul 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:automotive? electrical motors? cars electronics?

Light vehicles are an important market for suppliers of electrical motors. The average vehicle featured over 30 electrical motors in 2008, according to an IMS Research report. In the same year, 66 million vehicles were produced. Overall, the market for electrical motors in automotive applications is forecast to grow at an average rate of around 7 percent over the next seven years (although the market will shrink in 2009 as the downturn will mean lower vehicle production volumes). However, the report finds that demand for electrical motors in some applications will grow much faster than the average rate.

So which applications will drive growth?

Jon Cropley, IMS analyst who authored the report, said that growth is fuelled mostly by powertrain applications that are becoming more common, "partly due to stricter standards on emissions and fuel economy."

"Many of these powertrain applications use electrical motors. Examples include exhaust gas recirculation valves, dual-clutch transmissions, automated manual transmissions and electric power steering systems," said Cropley.

IMS Research forecasts the market for motors in electric power steering systems will grow by an average of over 12 percent a year, over the next seven years.

The trend to hybrid and electric vehicles is also driving growth in demand for motors. Motors are required for vehicle propulsion, for the air conditioning compressor pump and, in hybrids, for engine cooling pumps.

Many convenience and comfort applications that use electrical motors are also becoming more popular, bolstering the growth of sales for electrical motors, particularly those applications using multiple motors. One example is hard-top electric roof systems and these tend to feature around six motors. Another example is climate control systems, which use motors for controlling air mix doors. Furthermore, climate control systems are becoming advanced. Some of them feature automatically moving air outlet grilles. Some high-end vehicles now also feature a separate climate control system in the rear of the vehicle.

Not that the market for motors in every type of automotive application is growing. Demand is stagnant for some; for others, motor suppliers are only able to charge commodity prices. Nevertheless, the report finds that there are opportunities. Suppliers just need to have the right products for the right applications.





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