A group of Midlands manufacturers has set its sights on taking a share of the expected £300bn spend on vehicle electrification.
The Manufacturing Assembly Network (MAN), which is made up of eight sub-contract manufacturers and a specialist design agency, is already supplying components to 10 projects focused on battery development and electric motors and is expecting this figure to more than double over the next twelve months.
Bosses at the collective point to its ability to offer a single source solution, with first tiers and the major blue-chip OEMs able to tap into a host of engineering disciplines, ranging from concept design, precision pressings, laminations and forgings, to castings, fabrication and full electrical assembly.
MAN also boasts an extremely strong relationship with the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) and is currently exploring collaborations with professors in this field to look at how it can aid the drive for increased supply chain capacity.
“I can’t remember the last time all members of our group have been so excited about the potential opportunities presented by just one sector spend on automotive electrification is going through the roof and legislation is driving it,” explained Rowan Crozier, CEO of Brandauer and Chairman of the Manufacturing Assembly Network.
“A single electric car can contain anything between 70 and 150 electric motors, which makes it a very exciting opportunity for parts manufacturers. We are already supplying a number of firms with electrical steel laminations.”
He continued: “Then you also need forgings that could be the shaft and that’s where KimberMills International come in, whilst Alucast could develop the castings for the motor casing.
“Better still, we have Grove Design and its 8-strong team of designers who can overcome production issues and develop prototype parts quickly. It’s a single-source solution and one we believe could generate in excess of £15m of additional orders by the end of 2019.”
The acceleration of the installation of rapid charging stations has been reflected in the sales of electric cars themselves. In 2013, only 3500 were registered in the UK and that number has now rocketed to over 192,000.
These figures will only grow, with the UK government recently introducing environmental legislation that will see a phasing-out of traditional fuelled vehicles by 2040.
“That may seem far away, but it represents an absolute deadline for the production of vehicles as we know it. There is even pressure from MPs to move the deadline to 2032, so the market may potentially be disrupted much sooner,” added Larry Joyce, Chairman of Kimbermills International.
“What we need to do as SMEs is to make sure we are at the forefront of this sector and invest in the skills and technology we are going to need to produce the components electric vehicle manufacturers require. It’s a big challenge, but one the MAN group is definitely up for.”