A control unit is an electronic system that controls the function of one or more systems of a vehicle. In an electric vehicle, there are several electronic and electrical components that are operated by the control unit. There are several control units incorporated in order to control different electronic and electrical systems such as engine, powertrain, brake, suspension, and battery. Several modern vehicles have up to 80 control units. Based on the data inputs available at the control units, they command the connected electronic components to function accordingly. Therefore, the central control unit is considered the brain of the vehicle. There are several sensors mounted in an electric vehicle in order to analyze different parameters such as battery temperature, engine speed, accelerating force, brake status, suspension, and powertrain functioning. These sensors provide the analyzed data to the control unit, which takes corrective action based on the data.
The control unit is an integral part of an electric vehicle, as it helps the vehicle deliver optimum performance and efficiency. Demand for control unit is increasing rapidly due to the rise in demand for electric vehicles. Governments of several nations are imposing stringent emission norms in order to meet the Paris Climate Accord signed in April 2016. Increased concerns about vehicle pollution, rising global warming, government initiatives to reduce pollution, and decreasing electric vehicle battery prices with increased performance are fueling the demand for electric vehicles, which in turn is driving the demand for electric vehicle control units. Recently, several nations such as, Germany, China, India, and France, announced a ban on diesel powered vehicles that is expected to come into effect in the near future. This, in turn, is likely to boost the demand for electric and hybrid electric vehicles across these countries.
A major restraint to the control unit market is the chance of malfunction. Failure or malfunction is likely to occur, as the control unit is an electronic system, which is estimated to affect the performance and functioning of connected components.
The control unit market for electric vehicles can be segmented based on application, component, electric vehicle type, vehicle type, sales channel, and region. Based on application, the control unit market can be categorized into nine segments. Engine control module plays a vital role in performance and efficiency of hybrid electric vehicle engines. It controls the air-fuel mixture ratio, fuel injection, spark plug firing, and valve timing according to the engine temperature, cruising speed, and load. Transmission control module is an integral part of a vehicle with automatic transmission. Based on the data available from different sensors, installed in vehicle, and engine control unit, the transmission control unit operates the gear engagement in order to achieve optimum vehicle efficiency and performance.
Based on component, the control unit market for electric vehicles can be segregated into seven segments. Processor and the multi-layer circuit board are integral components of the control unit. Processor is responsible for processing the input and output of the control unit. Multi-layer circuit board comprises sockets and spaces to mount different electronic components on it. Analog-to-digital converters and digital-to-analog converters are employed to convert the data from sensors and control unit into a readable format.
Based on electric vehicle type, the control unit market for electric vehicles can be classified into three segments. Governing bodies are promoting battery electric vehicles by providing subsidies on them in order to reduce the pollution from vehicles. The U.S. and countries in Middle East and Africa witnessed a significant demand for hybrid electric vehicles. Stringent emission norms, increased concerns about vehicle efficiency, and increasing fuel prices are propelling the demand for electric and hybrid electric vehicles.
Based on vehicle type, the control unit market for electric vehicles can be bifurcated into two segments. Passenger electric vehicles are witnessing considerably high demand across developed and rapidly developing nations. About 195 nations signed the Paris Climate Agreement, which is an agreement to keep the global temperature rise below 2 degree Celsius. Countries that have signed the agreement witnessed a significant demand for electric vehicles, especially for passenger electric vehicles.
In terms of sales channel, the control unit for electric vehicles market can be split into two segments. OEM is a leading segment of the market owing to the longer life of OEM-fitted control units. Typically, the life of a control unit depends on its build quality and its position in the vehicle. Electronic control modules are mounted inside the engine compartment, where they have to sustain extremely high engine temperature and moisture, which causes corrosion of the control unit components. In case of failure of OEM-fitted control units, they are replaced with aftermarket control units, which are more expensive than OEM-fitted control units.
In terms of region, the global control unit market for electric vehicles can be segmented into five prominent regions. Several nations in Europe such as Norway, Germany, Luxemburg, and France witnessed considerable adoption of battery electric vehicles. Battery electric vehicles accounted for 40% of total vehicle sales in Norway in fiscal year of 2017. China is leading market for battery electric vehicles. Presence of global manufacturers, strong position of the country in the electronics business, and increased competition in the field of automotive are driving the electric vehicles market in China.
The global control unit market for electric vehicles comprises key players such as Robert Bosch GmbH, Continental AG, Embitel, TTTech Auto AG, Magneti Marelli S.p.A., Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas, Inc., DENSO CORPORATION, Mouser Electronics, Inc., Eberspächer Climate Control Systems GmbH & Co. KG, ZKW, and ZF Friedrichshafen AG.
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