4. The shift


The Technological
shift from traditional to alternative powertrain is a direct attempt in the
automotive world to reduce and eliminate the carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides
and other particulate matter emission into the environment. From the technology
perspective, the makers have attempted this shift for about a decade with many
failed attempts. Now we are in a position to completely revolutionize the
industry! The company Tesla piloted the break throughout for massive
large-scale adaptation while rest of the industry was still in the nascent
stage of development.


Several makers
now produce and sell battery electric vehicles (BEV) of prototype standards in
the market. They face the challenge of small range, large amount of time
required to charge the battery and insufficient infrastructure for long
journeys.  Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV)
powered by hydrogen eliminates the range problem, but suffer from poor
infrastructure, cost of hydrogen production and concerns related to safety due
to handling of high pressures up to 700 bars. Hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) the
best fit solution at present can satisfy the needs with a toggle switch between
electric and fossil fuel has been a successful product to the consumer. However
the cost of getting a hybrid car is the same as purchasing 2 cars. Even though
in lower amount, it emits green house gases and does not catalyse the
revolutionary change towards zero emission vehicles.

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The role of
suppliers is to adapt into the change, build on technological innovation and envision
a green supply chain management. On one hand, the alternative powertrain offers
the opportunity to new and young incumbent suppliers to surface out, on the
other it challenges and threatens the existing suppliers to undergo a drastic change
pulling away from existing expertise they have gained over the years, catering
to the IC engine car.


The existing
collaboration between the automotive OEM’s and suppliers enabled the suppliers to
gain unique knowledge base accounting to more than 65% of added value in automotive
production and 32% in Research and Development 13. This unique knowledge based
on experience requires time to be developed into new suppliers. The nomination
of electric vehicles for the future requires identifying methods of unification
and standardization of entities like charging point thereby the harmonious integration
of suppliers and OEM’s is a prerequisite to deliver to the needs of the market.

The literature lacks intricate details for the analysis of financial details of
the existing and new facilities of the supplier to assess the progress of
technological change towards alternative powertrain as the details are
protected within the company.


To derive the
strategic details we first observe the existing forces of change laid out for
the future from the stakeholders. As part of the literature study we analyze
the product and technology change that is most likely going to take over the
future. To develop a perspective to view the impact and further check
individual suppliers for competence that drives the change in their businesses.

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