In a context of constant innovation and evolution, the world’s leading vehicle manufacturers are presenting more and more new electric models to the market. For some years now, the main companies in the sector have been focusing all their efforts on the race towards electrification.
Thus, Gestamp is one of the main suppliers of body-in-white, chassis and mechanism components to react quickly in order to put all its experience in innovation and development at the service of its customers and thus achieve its goal of contributing to an increasingly safer and lighter mobility. Among the main innovations are specific solutions for a market that demands new designs for new vehicles. This is why, currently, Gestamp's technology and products are already incorporated into vehicles that have just started to roll on the roads around the world.
Gonzalo Galilea, Director of Gestamp's Electric Vehicle Group, is one of the many professionals the company has focused on offering the best lightweighting and safety solutions for electric vehicles. These need to be lighter, due to the greater weight that batteries add to the vehicle as a whole, and safer, given the higher safety requirements they must meet. And in this, Gestamp is one of the world's experts thanks to its commitment to the development and production of technological products. According to Galilea: "At Gestamp, we work together with our customers on new electric models and we do so based on our innovative vision of a safer and lighter electric vehicle".
Given the lightweighting and safety needs that the electric vehicle requires, Gestamp is in a privileged position to help its customers in the electrification challenge that they are all facing right now, such as the need to implement the innovative solutions that Gestamp has been developing and offering for years in all the regions in which it operates. The company has even incorporated new specific products for electrified vehicles with high benefit. This is the case of the Battery Box, a new product that was born with EV’s and in which Gestamp identified a business opportunity and for which the team that Galilea captains was created. Gestamp's clear commitment to the Battery Box is already reflected in the company's income statement and it expects revenues from these products to grow significantly in the coming years.
Among the main products developed by Gestamp, in addition to the Battery Box, which today is a fundamental component as it is the part that houses the vehicle's battery, is the Door Ring. This product integrates multiple parts into a single piece, offering less assembly complexity and optimising the robustness of the material by not having overlapping areas and other lightweighting solutions.
Gestamp's roadmap for innovation in Electric Vehicles
Ignacio Martin, director of Body-in-White R&D at Gestamp, as he pointed out during the Capital Markets Day that the company hold last June: "Gestamp's journey through technologies over the last few years has allowed Gestamp to now bring these innovations and new developments to electric vehicles". Thus, as he points out, "the battery box is changing the architecture of the car, which implies new safety challenges during the crash, which Gestamp solves by introducing new grades of steel or aluminum thanks to an increase in hot stamping."
In the Chassis area, Ulf Sudowe, its Innovation Director, highlights the functions of the chassis that Gestamp is developing in the new electric landscape. "The chassis takes into account three main areas: safety (trying to guarantee the maximum possible in the event of a vehicle crash), comfort (trying to reduce noise while driving) and lightness (with the reduction of CO2 emissions)", states Sudowe.
In this sense, the electric vehicle innovation roadmap is based on six technologies, three materials and nineteen products for the areas of body-in-white, chassis and mechanisms.
César Pontvianne, Director of Strategy for Gestamp's Business Units, comments on other developments such as the Power Slide Door, commonly known as the sliding door to replace the traditional door, as well as the power door or automatic door, which could have a strong penetration in the Electric Vehicle market and the mobility of the future. In addition, they are immersed in other powerful developments such as the Frunk, a development that consists of automating the opening and closing of the front boot of the vehicle, an additional storage space where the combustion engine was previously located, and at the same time having an active security system, which is already being studied together with different customers.
There are also other developments of specific hinges for the new structure of the electric vehicle (due to the inclusion of the battery box in the floor) or a solution developed by Gestamp and already implemented in different models, which improves the performance of the vehicle in crash tests.
Markus Kirchner, its innovation manager, points out that "another important innovation is related to the drive system, thanks to which the power systems and the electronic control unit are integrated directly into less space and there is no longer any need for an external control unit".
Thanks to these innovations, Gestamp continues to accompany its customers all over the world, offering the best safety and lightweighting solutions, as it has always done, and now does so in the new challenge of the electric vehicle.