07/2019: Electric vehicles

Friction stir welding to hit climate targets


In the year 2021, the CO2 emissions of new vehicles in the EU will be allowed to amount to a fleet average of maximum 95 g CO2 per kilometer. A high target given the fact that the European fleet averages were about 118.5 g per kilometer at last. In the past year, the EU member states and the European Parliament have also agreed to reduce the CO2 emissions of new cars by 15% from 2021 to 2025 and by a total of 37.5% until the year 2030. Around one quarter of all greenhouse gases in the EU are caused by traffic, therefore it seems to make sense to act here. However, according to expert opinion these targets can only be achieved if manufacturers sell significantly more pure electric vehicles in the future, as they are zero-emission vehicles.


In Germany electric vehicles - meaning the Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) and the Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) - have a market share of 2.6% in Q1-2019 only. This is 0.6% more than in Q1-2018. After all. In Norway, on the other hand, they reached a market share of 60.8% in the first quarter of this year. After 48% in Q1-2018. This puts the country in the lead in electromobility.


In 2018 about 2 million electric vehicles were sold worldwide, corresponding to a market share of 2.2%. This market share is set to increase to 20% by 2025, which would mean roughly 19 million electric vehicles. Experts expect the model range to expand from 220 to 650 models during this period. And all over the world there will be even more than 1,200 different models by 2030. These figures and the rapidly increasing quantities illustrate the immense dynamics of the automotive industry at present. And what a big challenge the OEMs have to face.


Back to the climate targets: After all, a significantly increasing number of electric vehicles shall be sold in Germany and the EU in the near future. Subsidies or incentives to support this have to be provided by others, but we are happy to help with the manufacturing of these vehicles: we already produce two different product groups for electric mobility: coolers for charge controllers and battery boxes for electric cars.


  1. The coolers are used to cool charge controllers in hybrid vehicles. They consist of a cast body containing the cooling geometry and a lid made of sheet metal or a cast part. We are currently welding different models for two OEMs with rapidly increasing quantities. Friction stir welding is very well suited for this application because our seams are free from pores, media-tight and reproducible. Especially for these coolers we have implemented the first automated manufacturing cell for friction stir welding, including mechanical processing and pressure testing in-house. Due to the enormous demand we are currently putting the second identical system into operation. So we will soon be friction stir welding 400,000 coolers per year – we´d like to see anyone beat that!
  2. The battery frames are a special challenge. As kind of a tray they contain the batteries for the electric vehicles and form the floor under the passenger compartment. At this position they must protect the batteries from dirt and moisture from below and from damage in case of an accident. And at the same time they shelter the passengers from burns, because the usual lithium-ion batteries tend to go up in flames when they are damaged. Therefore it is important that the battery boxes absorb any impact energy well and thus protect the batteries. This is where friction stir welding comes into play: with our process the aluminum profiles used can be welded at highest quality. The seams have a high degree of weld-strength and can be reshaped perfectly without tearing. Currently we are welding five different battery enclosures for our customers - and counting.


In these exciting times of introduction and expansion of electric mobility we are very pleased that we are allowed to act like pioneers in this field. Especially now it pays off that we have a company size which allows us to respond flexibly to inquiries and occasionally make the impossible possible. And on the other hand to be able to manage series orders with several hundred thousand pieces p.a.

With our two product groups we are already making a significant contribution to hit the German climate targets. May there be much more.