The electric vehicle revolution is coming, and depending on where you may be in the world, it may seem as if it’s already begun. For instance, people in the United States have seen a legitimate surge in enthusiasm for Tesla of late. The company’s electric vehicles, designed by Elon Musk to make EVs cool, are getting more popular, and the company has recently been exceeding even the most optimistic expectations. In fact, Barron’s recently highlighted an 80% jump in Tesla stock so far in 2020! Naturally, that sort of growth is probably unsustainable, but it does speak somewhat to how much one of the most prominent electric vehicle companies on Earth is catching on.
Even with more examples like this emerging though, there are still difficulties associated with the widespread rise of electric vehicles. And one of these difficulties that don’t get a whole lot of attention is how to responsibly house and handle the robust batteries that will help EVs operate with optimal efficiency.
We have covered the evolution of battery technology in the past, and beyond new-age batteries themselves, we highlighted the need for alternative cells and safe and reliable storage. This is related to the same potential difficulty mentioned above, which is how EVs can safely and efficiently hold and maintain the batteries they need to reach their potential. And as we alluded to in that previous piece on the subject, new material options can help to address the problem.
This is where the process of injection molding can come into play. This is basically an advanced, tech-driven mass manufacturing process that is already being utilized by numerous industries, but which most consumers are more or less unaware of. It involves the formation of hollowed-out molds and a variety of special materials. The materials are injected into the molds (which are made to the exact specifications of the desired final product) and then harden into the intended forms. The result is a functional, ready-for-market product that can be replicated continually by the same process.
Injection molding is already used for the manufacturing of various parts in the auto industry. However, it’s potentially of particular significance to EVs and their battery needs because of the range of materials that can be incorporated and the size of the orders that can be placed. As an expert on this and other modern manufacturing options, Fictiv states that up to 500k units can be ordered in a single production tooling or molding project; it also highlights an impressive range of compatible materials for orders of this size, with that range, has expanded over time. This suggests that if and when the EV industry decides on a new standard for cells and casings for batteries, the required material can likely be used in injection molds to supply entire companies.
This isn’t merely a random assertion of a hopeful notion either. In fact, Plastics Today has already pointed to tailor-made plastics as being able to “protect the heart of electric cars.” In fact, the publication went a step further and discussed the need to develop processes for the “efficient mass production of complex plastic parts for batteries” in the electric vehicle space. In other words, the problem is already in place, and already the subject of discussion within the industry – and injection molding is poised to offer a solution.