Will Mechanical Engineers find a suitable position in EV Industry?
Electric Vehicles continued with their steady development for a decade. Tesla, the leading manufacturer of electric vehicles will be soon landing in India in early 2021. Tesla Model 3 sedan will still be the first car to enter Indian streets. The adoption of electric vehicles is surely picking up in India, along with development in charging infrastructure. Indian Government plans to make India completely electric by 2030. The government plans on setting up infrastructure for one e-charging kiosk at around 69000 petrol stations across India.
Electric cars, the present mode of transport, and future technology have almost replaced the Internal Combustion Engine vehicles leading to a greener future. The first thought that comes to our mind by this name is "Everything is related to Electrical, Electronics and Computer Engineering". So, where do all the mechanical and automobile engineers stand? Did you ever feel so?
What can Mechanical Engineers do?
Electric vehicles mean just replacing the internal combustion engine, air intake, and fuel tank with a motor and a battery. Everything else such as the suspensions, aerodynamics, the braking system, and even the ventilation and cooling system remains the same. Electric Vehicles still comprise mechanical components assembled to transport people and materials from one place to another. In electric vehicles, only the source of energy is changed to electricity. A motor is all-electric but it is still made up of pieces such as heat sings other components enclosures windings which require mechanical knowledge and material science. Even the chassis, wheels, brakes, lights, seats, instrument cluster, and all other external parts of the vehicle are the same as the commercial used vehicles.
Area of work
All these departments from designing to industrialization requires mainly mechanical engineering expertise:
- Electric motor mechanical parts
- Underfloor chassis
- Upper body parts
- Moving body parts like doors
- Interior plastic and metal parts
- Engine and battery cooling and heating systems
- Cabin air conditioning HVAC systems
- Testing departments
- Mold and tool making for all components.
- Installations of plants ECT
Mechanical engineers will work on optimizing these systems and developing new and innovative designs. An EV is mostly defined by its mechanical and structural aspects along with its aesthetics. There is a huge demand for BIW engineers, instrumentation engineers, lighting engineers, suspension engineers, materials engineers, seating engineers, and many more related to design and development along with Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
The New Era
Although, in this era of Technical advancement, every engineer needs to have interdisciplinary skills which means an electrical engineer should know about all the mechanical and other aspects of a vehicle to work in an electric mobility sector. Similarly, a mechanical and automobile Engineer needs to know about the electrical components of a vehicle as well as the different autonomous development's in the same to cope up with the developing industry. In fact with the rise in electric vehicle development, there is a huge need for mechanical and automobile Engineers with a little difference in training and knowledge.
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As we all know the weight of the battery that has the electric motor along with its components is quite high. There is always a need to develop lighter as well as stronger vehicles to increase profitability and decrease the price to the customer. With the new electric vehicles, there is a need for development in the weight and structure of the vehicle to make it perform as equal or even better than IC engine vehicles. This brings about a constant development in the industry with the increase in demand for mechanical and automobile engineers. So, all of you out there stop worrying. This is rather the best time to pick new skills and choose areas of expertise. Gear up and work on the field on new challenges the EV industry is going to throw.