Assembly Lines: Emerging Applications Expand Electric Motor Markets
SAN JOSE, CA—As the installation rates of many automotive comfort features approaches saturation, developing new electric motor applications holds the key to successful market entry and expansion.
New analysis reveals that the market for fractional horsepower electric motors for automobile applications totaled $2.01 billion in 2002. Total market revenues could reach $2.17 billion in 2009.
Technological developments that increase functionality and performance while reducing fuel consumption, emissions, costs and maintenance needs are increasing electric motor usage. Incorporating electronics directly into motors has resulted in a trend called “mechatronics” that increases functionality and precision in operations. Overall, the original equipment electric motor market is projected to grow slowly, and the incorporation of additional features into motors, use of more expensive motors for new applications, and gradual adoption of higher-priced brushless and stepper motors will help keep prices from dropping.
“Besides power mirrors, door locks, windows and seats that are already in use and seeing increasing installation, automakers are adding additional electric motors for new functions, such as power running boards and trunk lids,” says Joerg Dittmer, industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan. “Electric steering systems are just beginning to be used in some North American vehicle models, and electric brakes may follow, along with electric oil and water pumps, air conditioning compressors, and electromagnetically actuated engine valves,” adds Dittmer.