By Bayside Group Automotive

Sep 9, 2020

Is EVs and emerging automotive technology the industry’s road forward?

The Australian automotive industry was hit hard following the closure of Toyota, Holden and Ford manufacturing. However, one of the country’s peak automotive engineering bodies, believes that the rise of electric cars, coupled with emerging automotive technology, will inevitably pave the road forward for the country’s automotive industry.

The Society of Automotive Engineers – Australasia (SAE-A) has announced a concept that will bring together local engineers, hi-tech component manufacturers and automotive designers to showcase the country’s capabilities to global automotive companies. Furthermore,  the growing uptake of EV’s and emerging technology such as driverless cars, AI and smart sensors, all provide Australian automotive employers with innovation opportunities, allowing them to become big players within what will undoubtedly become a prosperous sector.

With Bayside Group Automotive Consultant Wen Shan, we discuss how home-grown automotive organisations can look to EVs and emerging automotive technology to help drive the Australian automotive industry forward.


The rise of electric vehicles

It would be remiss not to address the way in which COVID-19 has impacted the automotive industry, with new car sales plunging a record 48.5 percent in April of this year alone in Australia.

However, electric vehicles are defying these statistics, with sales rising by more than 200 percent in the year 2019, and almost as many EVs being sold in the first half of 2020 as the previous year, despite the current volatile market conditions. Furthermore, in a survey conducted by the Electric Vehicle Council, over half of the consumers polled (56 percent) said they would consider buying an electric car for their next vehicle. These statistics show the potential growth that is in store for the EV market on our shores.


Greater diversity means greater potential for sales

While there are currently EV offerings in Australia such as the Nissan Leaf, BMW i3 and Renault Zoe, industry bodies and the Australian government are making moves to increase support for this sector. One of these moves could see the federal government implement a ‘national electric vehicle policy’ to ensure a diverse selection of EVs are made available to Australian buyers, adding growth to Australia’s car sales.

For example, in August, Hyundai Motor Company launched a stand-alone electric vehicle sub-brand called IONIQ. Consisting of three new models, Hyundai Australia has put its hand up for IONIQ in a move that would add a competitive offering to its showrooms. Bayside Group Automotive Consultant Wen Shan says that companies like this that are quick on the uptake will likely reap the rewards.

“EV sales will most likely become a very competitive space in the Australian automotive industry, and those organisations that are faster on the uptake of these automotive advancements have the potential to become the biggest players in the Australian industry.”


Charging capacity and aftermarket

It is estimated that by 2040, electric vehicles will account for around 70 percent of new vehicle sales across Australia. However, according to the same analysis, two-thirds of Australian motorists are hesitant to purchase an EV due to a lack of accessible charging stations.

Australia currently faces a chronic shortage of these charging stations, despite EV’s increasing sales. In order to narrow the gap between infrastructure and demand, the federal government plans on rolling out a national EV strategy as part of its Climate Solutions Package.  According to recent reports, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is investing $15 million into 42 new charging stations across roadside service centres in Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, and Brisbane.

This investment and the need to provide facilities for EVs will likely create a boom in demand for the EV aftermarket sector, of which charging will play a large role.


Uptake of emerging technologies

Bayside Group Automotive Consultant Wen Shan says that the increasing potential of emerging automotive technology will also provide Australian organisations with opportunities into the future.

“The growth of emerging automotive technology and EVs provides traditional OEMs the chance to expand their offerings,” Wen explains. “There are opportunities for partnerships with technology companies and energy suppliers, allowing OEMs to revisit current business models and shift service offerings to suit the current climate.”

This provides ample opportunities for partnerships and collaborations that will grow and strengthen the industry, and move its boundaries far beyond the traditional offerings of the automotive industry.


Utilise home-grown talent

Currently, the majority of automotive manufacturing is completed overseas, however the EV and emerging technology market open up much scope for work here in Australia.

“We have a lot of excellent home-grown talent here in Australia, such as design and specific engineer professionals that will be crucial for the development of the EV market,” says Wen. “There’s the potential for design to occur before being sent overseas for manufacture, as well as vital research and development of components such as batteries and automotive technology.

Wen says this kind of work requires a specific skill set, which is why it can be useful to partner with a recruitment company that has a large network of automotive talent.

“Bayside Group Automotive has 35 years’ experience working within the automotive sector, and such knowledge of the industry will prove invaluable as the industry progresses into this innovative but new phase.”

“We have a large network of automotive engineers and high-end technical candidates, as well as the ability to identify those skills that will be crucial for automotive employers to adopt in order to stay competitive.”

If you are looking for automotive talent to assist your business growth, contact Bayside Group Automotive today and speak with one of our Consultants.


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