From Henry Ford’s Model T to the present time, nothing essential has changed in the concept of automobiles. Performance, safety, design and passenger comfort have constantly increased. But the automotive supply chain did not face any groundbreaking changes. Until now, when electric vehicles (EV) start to take over and steadily replace fossil fuel powered cars.
As packaging producers and for tier I, II and III automotive suppliers, at Logistic Packaging we already experience the first stages in this shift. An increasing number of our clients are looking for customized packaging solutions, meeting very specific requirements.
Let us discuss how the EV will redefine the automotive supply chain and how packaging producers prepare to adapt to this major change.
The Car Battery Is the Main Disruptor in the Automotive Supply Chain
On the outside, EVs look just like any other car. What makes the difference is the inside. Mainly, the Li-Ion battery powering the vehicle and keeping it moving. Just this new component requires a separate supply chain process of its own:
- Procuring, refining and processing raw materials
- Manufacturing battery components
- Producing battery cells from components
- Assembling the battery pack
- Installing the battery into EVs
- Recycling old batteries.
The magnitude of this disruption cannot be overstated. The battery represents up to 40% of the value of an electric car. Thus, all stakeholders in the EV production industry must apply the strictest standards of safety during shipping and storage to avoid damaging these valuable components.
The Key Challenges in Shipping and Storing Electric Car Batteries
Here are some of the main challenges automotive suppliers and distributors must face:
1. Batteries Contain Many Sensitive Electronic Parts
From components to final battery pack, these products require special ESD packaging to prevent electrostatic discharges. Moreover, EV batteries must be protected from shocks, dust, scratching and other damages.
To protect batteries during transit, Logistic Packaging has a comprehensive range of customized packaging made of ESD materials, such as:
2. Batteries Are Classified as Dangerous Goods
When making shipping arrangements, logistics managers and their packaging partners must take into consideration that transportation companies treat EV batteries as dangerous goods. Moreover, these transportation standards are not overseen by one organization. Rather, each region has its own standards and requirements.
Therefore, the automotive supply chain needs to create new logistic loops for the shipment of battery components and packs to meet the specific standards of every region. In this new paradigm, customized packages are the only viable solution. And packaging producers are ramping up R&D efforts to meet the new requirements coming from automotive clients.
3. Each EV Model Has a Different Type of Battery
Last, but not least, there can be no standardization in returnable packaging for EV batteries (at least for the foreseeable future), because each battery is different. EV producers design batteries in-house and there are no two models with similar features.
This lack of standardization in battery design means that packaging materials must be made to size, according to the producer’s specifications. Once again, customized returnable packaging appears to be the norm at the present.
Undoubtedly, as the adoption rate of electric cars increases, some standards will appear and make the difference between batteries less visible and more in terms of technology and performance.
Until then, Logistic Packaging is here to support all automotive industry suppliers with effective design and production of customized packages that meet the standards of EV producers. Send us an email to start discussing your packaging project with one of our experts!