As it is reported by the European Commission the automotive industry is crucial for Europe’s prosperity: the EU is among the world’s biggest producers of motor vehicles providing jobs for 12 million people and accounting for 4% of the EU’s GDP. Moreover, the automotive sector has an important multiplier effect in the economy, in fact, it sustains other supply chain such as steel, chemicals, and textiles, as well as downstream industries such as ICT, repair, and mobility services. In addition, the automotive industry represents the largest private investor in research and development (R&D) and it is able to pull and trigger the investment in R&D of many other industries. Lastly, the automotive industry directly affects the citizens’ quality of life and city’s environmental sustainability, becoming always more crucial and decisive in overcoming the environmental and sustainability challenges.
However, in the recent years, the automotive industry is undergoing a fundamental transformation from traditional fuel cars to Electric (EV) and Hybrid (HEV) vehicles. It is foreseen that, by 2040, 35% of the newly sold vehicles will be electric. In 2015, the market of E&HEVs worldwide has reached a 550.000 units sold yearly, with a growth of 83% with respect to the previous year.
However, there are current and future challenges towards this transformation that can be summarized as follow:
High Total Cost of Ownership of E&HEVs:
- High initial cost of E&HEVs
- Battery life
- Maintenance cost
- Vehicle performance and autonomy
- Maintenance needed
- Lack of infrastructure
(i.e. recharging station)
Europe is not prepared to efficiently manage the End-Of-Life (EOL) of E&HEVs:
- Lack of consolidated processes and technologies for E&HEVs EOL
- No value chains for E&HEVs EOL and high added-value parts and components
The CarE-Service project is aimed to cope with these challenges by developing new solutions as new circular economy business models, advanced mobility services and new technologies, to enhance the users’ experience and the diffusion of the Electric and Hybrid Electric vehicles.
In particular, The CarE-Service project proposal aims at demonstrating innovative business models entailing the re-use, remanufacturing and recycling of some key components of E&HEVs.