What is the true scale of electrification? 



What is the true scale of electrification? 

By now, it would have been nigh on impossible to have avoided discussion about automotive electrification. High on the list of priorities of governments, industry, and various climate scientists across the globe, the electric vehicle dialogue has intensified over the years. 

Much of this dialogue centres around passenger cars, trucks and vans.  

With the prominent role that these vehicles play in the everyday lives of most people, this seems reasonable. And yet, there are so many other types of vehicle that get overlooked when we talk about electrification. These vehicles, much like passenger cars, are integral to society, as well as the economy. 

One such example is the bus. Renowned for getting a wide cross-section of the general public from A to B, these vehicles make up an important part of the electrification landscape. According to a statistical release published in October 2020 by the United Kingdom’s Department for Transport, local bus services travelled a total of 1.13 billion miles in the year ending March 2020. If left unelectrified, the carbon footprint of these vehicles will remain substantial. In 2020, despite the pandemic significantly reducing travel, the emissions from UK buses was still 2.2 million metric tonnes, which is enough to fill 440,000 hot air balloons. 

In many places across the world, including in the UK, this is a problem that is being tackled. In Indonesia, for example, PT INKA, a state-owned rolling stock and automotive manufacturer, has collaborated with Advanced Electric Machines to manufacture  electrified buses. These buses will contain our sustainable electric motor technology and will be crucial to meeting the Indonesian government’s commitment to electrifying its fleet of public transportation buses by 2030.

Also overlooked are off-highway vehicles. Used on steep or uneven ground, off-highway vehicles are used in the construction and agricultural sectors, including everything from mining vehicles and tractors to mobile platforms and cranes. Consider the fuel required for one bulldozer to function on a construction site for one day’s work. Powering this vehicle with an internal combustion engine goes against the sustainable practices that the imminent bans of petrol and diesel passenger cars the world is striving towards. 

In our work with SCG International, we have been working alongside the cement and building material provider to make a difference in Thailand’s construction industry. Advanced Electric Machines and SCG recently signed a memorandum of understanding to develop innovative solutions for SCG’s next generation of zero-emissions mixing and transportation machinery. In this capacity, we will integrate our unique electric motors into SCG’s forward-thinking product range. 

Our ambition to achieve greater sustainability in the transport sector has not stopped there, either. We have identified road trains as another vehicle type that has been neglected in the approach towards electrification. Particularly prominent in Australia, these vehicles undertake extremely long journeys to transport goods overland to remote areas.  

Qube Logistics is an Australian provider of import and export logistics services, operating long-distance road trains. In partnership with Adgero, Advanced Electric Machines’ sustainable technology is helping the company to boost the capacity and efficiency of its trains and minimise its running costs. Qube’s new sustainable e-axle solution will utilise our HDSRM300T drive system, with each axle fitted with two rare-earth free motors and a transmission. 

As you can see, there’s more to automotive electrification than merely passenger cars, trucks and vans. Research undertaken by the International Energy Agency has predicted that there will be 145 million of these types of vehicles electrified and on the road by 2030. But this 145 million doesn’t even remotely take vehicles used for construction, in agriculture, for public transport, and for various other means into account. It is clear that the scale of electrification is more than meets the eye, and it remains our goal here at Advanced Electric Machines to make sure that this process occurs in a sustainable manner.