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02.11.2021|DMG MORI Quick Facts

Quick Facts: Electromobility

More and more manufacturers are increasingly focusing on electric vehicles, hybrid and plug-in hybrid engines, or fuel cell technology. This is changing production. Our Quick Facts on electromobility provide an introduction to the sustainable future of alternative drive systems.

Electromobility – not a new idea?

The Flocken electric car from 1881 was the first electric vehicle.

Around 1820, Michael Faraday invented the electromagnetic rotary drive and thus the precursor of an electric motor. The use of his invention in the Flocken electric car in 1881 marked the start of the first heyday of electric vehicles, which led the field of automotive drive concepts until around 1910. From around 1910, these first electric cars disappeared from the roads and the internal combustion engine took over.

What types of electric vehicles are there?

Today, electrically driven vehicles can be divided into different types that are at least partially powered by electricity. Modern vehicles today often have hybrid or purely electric drives. They are thus geared to different driving profiles.

What are hybrid drive concepts?

Drivers can then choose between purely electric operation (inner-city) and hybrid operation (long-distance).

“Hybrids” are vehicles with a primary combustion engine in which a battery absorbs braking energy and uses it to power a small electric motor to support the main drive. The new plug-in hybrid vehicles with electric motor and combustion engine go one step further. Here, too, braking energy is recovered. However, the vehicles have a larger battery capacity and can also be recharged at external electric charging stations. Drivers can then choose between purely electric operation (inner-city) and hybrid operation (long-distance).

What falls under purely electric drive concepts?

Purely electric drive systems include, in particular, battery-electric vehicles with an electric motor as the sole drive. Electricity to run the motors is stored in a battery. The energy released during braking processes is optimally utilized by using the motors as dynamos and fed back into the battery. When the batteries are empty, the vehicle is "refueled" at a charging station. 

However, fuel cell vehicles are also purely electric vehicles. With hydrogen as the energy carrier, the drive (as with the battery-electric vehicle) is provided by electric motors. However, the electrical energy is generated from hydrogen using a fuel cell. This is done by reversing electrolysis.

How quickly do modern electric cars charge?

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Charging stations supply the batteries of electric cars with energy.

While refueling hydrogen takes about the same amount of time as refueling today, battery charging times are a bit more complex. The charging time of today's battery electric vehicles always depends on the available charging power. Most vehicles today can be charged in around two to four hours at appropriate charging stations. At fast charging stations with over 50 kW, the vehicles charge with direct current . The batteries are then usually 80% full again in less than an hour. The reference value is: 10 minutes charging time per 100km range.

What new requirements does electromobility place on production? 

Compared to internal combustion engines, electric motors require only a fifth of the number of components to be machined. Hybrid drives, on the other hand, require up to 15 percent more components. The increasing proportion of electric motors is gradually pushing a previous core business into the background: the development and production of combustion engines. But elsewhere, this change is also creating new demand. New components such as battery boxes, scroll compressors and housings for electric motors require a high level of manufacturing expertise. In addition, an electric vehicle still needs brakes, axles, differential housings and many other familiar parts - albeit some in a different form. There is also growth potential in lightweight construction, because in electromobility, the lighter a car is, the more efficiently it drives.

How is DMG MORI operating in the age of electromobility? 

For more than 100 years, DMG MORI has been supplying productive manufacturing solutions to manufacturers and suppliers in the automotive industry worldwide. These include high-precision and versatile machining centers for tool and mold making as well as holistic process chains in the series production of vehicle components. DMG MORI supports the highly dynamic development in the field of electromobility with experience and machining expertise. The result is unique manufacturing solutions all from a single source - including application technology, with intelligent automation concepts and digital applications for economical processes.

Under the motto 'A full Automotive Technology Integration', DMG MORI presents various complete solutions in its own Automotive Excellence Centers in the form of a holistic modular system - consisting of high-performance machine tools, holistic technologies, automation solutions and intelligent software. This guarantees customers maximum availability and maximum process reliability in the automotive industry - with equally high productivity, as impressively demonstrated by the production of battery boxes on the DMU Gantry 200 or electric motor housings on the DMC 65 H duoBLOCK, among others.