EPT 2023: Industry Discusses Challenges and Solutions

Some of the 260 interested people attending the 11th EPT in Aachen Copyright: © blende-0 | Kurt Beyer

Around 260 participants from research and industry exchanged views on challenges and trends in the field of batteries, fuel cells, and electric motors during this year's Electric Mobility Week and the eleventh edition of the renowned Electric Vehicle Production Days (EPT) in Aachen. At the event, which was organized by the Chair of Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components (PEM) of RWTH Aachen University together with Campus Forum and the 'Fraunhofer Research Institution for Battery Cell Production FFB', numerous companies had also presented innovations in themed sessions and at an accompanying trade fair.

  Professor Achim Kampker during a speech at the 2023 EPT Copyright: © blende-0 | Kurt Beyer

Criticism about EU Commission's plan of PFAS ban

"There were controversial discussions among leading suppliers about new process alternatives in the production of electric vehicle drives – and the realization that the development of new production processes for a functioning circular economy ultimately determines the success of electric mobility," says PEM Director Professor Achim Kampker. Meanwhile, in the area of fuel cell production, the latest developments in Germany and the Netherlands in particular are said to be encouraging in order to hold Europe's own against the Asian market in global competition. Particularly at the process level, there is still technical and economic potential that can be exploited. Furthermore, the industry was critical of the EU Commission's plans to almost completely ban perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which would severely set back research into fuel cell components.

"Europe is not sleeping. Many proclamations made by battery producers a year ago have already been implemented or are well on their way."

Among battery producers, however, sustainability and energy efficiency are emerging as the dominant aspects. "These are the key issues for the industry throughout Europe," says Professor Heiner Heimes, member of PEM institute management. "It is getting clear that Europe is not sleeping. Many proclamations made by battery producers a year ago have already been implemented or are well on their way." With the EPT event, PEM aims to enable the industry, from plant engineering to users, to share expertise and knowledge and promote technological progress. "The success of electric vehicle production and the domestic manufacture of its components is closely linked to the know-how that the companies are building up," Heimes says.

More than 110 professionals and managers attend PEM seminars

In PEM's seminars held during the "Electric Mobility Week" before and after the EPT, 117 professionals and managers had received further training on various components of the electric drive system, acquiring industry and research knowledge in the process. This time, particular interest was focused on battery production, digitization in production, and electric motor manufacturing. Other topics relevant to industry included fuel cell production, battery safety and simulation as well as battery cycle management and raw material production.

The next Electric Mobility Week will take place in Aachen from November 4th to November 8th. Further information on the EPT is provided on the official website.