Electric Corner Modules Show Potential to Integrate Powertrain, Suspension, and Steering Systems in Autonomous Vehicles

SAN ANTONIO, Dec. 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are expected to replace powertrain suspension and steering systems with electric corner modules (ECMs) as the demand for purpose-built vehicles increases. This will lower initial investments and reduce the time to market. As ECMs enable greater flexibility through increasing modularity and reusability, OEMs can efficiently use available space and reduce the lead time for new models. Their suitability for autonomous delivery vehicles, eShuttles, and electric light commercial vehicles (eLCVs) is expected to result in a $5.20 billion global market by 2030.

electric corner modules (PRNewsFoto/Frost & Sullivan)
electric corner modules (PRNewsFoto/Frost & Sullivan)

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"Purpose-built vehicles such as autonomous delivery vans, robo-taxis, and eShuttles need increased usable volume for cargo or passengers, making ECM-equipped vehicles ideal as they can carry up to 30% more volume as a similar-sized vehicle," noted Thirumalai Narasimhan, Senior Research Analyst, Mobility Practice at Frost & Sullivan. "ECMs can be updated over the air for sensor integrations and upgrades to autonomous driving. These upgrades can offer additional capabilities such as rear-wheel steering by swapping the existing module with a steerable module."

Narasimhan added: "ECM adoption is likely to increase after 2025 when OEMs start offering purpose-built vehicles based on skateboard architecture. As they develop models with new platform strategies that are not hindered by multi-energy platforms, they will find greater value in integrating ECMs in their vehicles."

As electric vehicles and autonomous driving become more mainstream, there will be inevitable changes in automotive design and development. This will lead to growth opportunities that ECM suppliers can leverage by:

  • Developing modular and flexible skateboard platforms, allowing OEMs to offer numerous models without investing significantly in powertrain components.
  • Integrating ECMs into EV architecture, enabling the seamless introduction of automation.
  • Partnering with OEMs for platform licensing, accelerating the vehicle’s time-to-market by helping OEMs reduce development time and cost.
  • Addressing maneuverability, space, and drive-by-wire requirements, allowing the vehicle to make different turns that would not have been possible in the traditional configuration.

Global Autonomous Vehicles Regulatory Growth Opportunities is the latest addition to Frost & Sullivan’s Mobility research and analyses available through the Frost & Sullivan Leadership Council, which helps organizations identify a continuous flow of growth opportunities to succeed in an unpredictable future.

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Global Electric Corner Module Market, Growth Opportunities, 2021

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