Billions are being invested in the design and production of electric vehicles as well as the infrastructure to support them. Recently Cox Automotive Mobility announced the expansion of their global EV battery service center network with Spiers New Technology to promote innovation throughout the entire EV battery lifecycle. Today on Inside Automotive, we’re pleased to welcome the Head of Electric Vehicle Battery Solutions at Cox Automotive, Lea Malloy, to tell us more.
Electric vehicles are a hot topic across all industry segments, and despite some pushback, it seems like all vehicle manufacturers are moving toward an electric future. The new EV battery service center network will offer massive support to manufacturers, dealers, and fleet operators as they manage this transition.
Malloy notes that Cox Automotive’s commitment to the space starts with core company beliefs about electrification. She says that electric vehicles are undoubtedly poised to become the dominant form of transportation for people and goods throughout the US and Europe. According to her, Cox is passionate about its ability to help curb climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and that the electric vehicle takes center stage for that goal right now.
Malloy says the unanticipated consequence relates to the question of how the industry can become caretakers for the most expensive component of electric vehicles, the battery pack. She says the battery service center network is a response to the need for support for OEMs and other clients in the caretaking of these batteries and provides a place to do so under one roof.
Malloy said Cox brings unmatched technology talent, with a group of engineers who understand EV battery packs better than anyone else. She said the company is focused on innovation and problem solving, including introducing a new proprietary recycling capability that introduces a process of pre-treating EV battery packs through a novel approach.
Malloy also notes the advantage Cox brings to the table through the breadth and scale of its reach. Nearly 67% of buyers look at Cox’s consumer sites like Kelly Blue Book and Autotrader. She mentions that almost 80% of wholesale transactions are supported through the company’s Manheim Market report. The massive operational scale of the company aids in its mission of being battery solution innovators and problem solvers who are committed to helping clients solve unanticipated problems.
As for challenges in real-time, Malloy says that logistical issues and storage requirements present the biggest obstacle. This is because the Department of Transportation in the US has strict requirements about moving battery packs around, and they require climate-controlled, monitored storage facilities. Another area that they are focusing on is repair and diagnostics, which means understanding how the battery “feels” and what is going wrong with it.
Malloy said that focusing on diagnostics will help reduce the friction and uncertainty for consumers, who may want to know the value of a used electric vehicle. When the industry can provide buyers with information about battery health, it will increase confidence and drive transparency around used EV battery purchases.
Cox Automotive has a goal to become the world’s best battery health innovator and end-to-end battery services provider. Malloy said the core DNA of the company centers around building better communities and presenting solutions that are both environmentally friendly and benefit the industry.
Malloy says the company currently has over 850,000 square feet of operating space in the US and Europe. She says there are plans in place to increase that footprint to around 1 million square feet. In doing so, Malloy says Cox Automotive will be better positioned to support clients in whatever needs they have to become battery pack caretakers.
Malloy predicts that around 30% of new car sales will be electric by 2030. She says there is an excellent mix of tailwinds involving changing consumer sentiments and increasing OEM commitment to producing new models. Malloy also says those tailwinds combined with the headwinds around uncertain supply chains, microchips, access to critical metals, and the increasing prices of those metals. All of those inputs, she says, will dictate how fast EV adoption accelerates over the next decade.
According to Malloy, everyone has an environmental obligation to do their part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and a transition to electric vehicles can play a big role in that future.
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