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Why Europe’s sustainability initiatives rely on locally produced electrical steels

 

Opinion piece by Cristina de Lucas, CMO of ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Product’s Electrical Steels

Cristina de Lucas, CMO of ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Product’s Electrical Steels

 

Demand for electrical steels, a key component for electric vehicles and other renewable energy generators, is growing rapidly as the world transitions into cleaner, more efficient forms of energy generation and mobility. Nowhere is this truer than in the European Union (EU). As local countries change policies, manufacturers expect support and guidance to explore this new world, and the general population demands superior offers that combine high performance and low environmental impact. 
This is where ArcelorMittal plays a fundamental role.

ArcelorMittal's electrical steel: the energising material

ArcelorMittal's electrical steel: the energising material

Electrical steel powers the future of sustainable vehicles

The electrification of mobility is increasing rapidly in Europe. Forecasts indicate that, by 2030, more than half of all new car registrations in the region will be for rechargeable vehicles. Demand has largely been driven by EU CO2 emission regulations, but the growing environmental awareness of consumers, and their positive driving experiences with these cars, are also playing a significant role. And with electric vehicles lowering emissions from 15% (Mild Hybrid) up to 100% (Battery Electric Vehicle), each additional electric motor is a significant step closer to carbon-neutral vehicles on the road.

Rising demand for electric vehicles means a rising demand for electric motors, and in turn electrical steels to maximise their efficiency. Motors made with specialized electrical steel, such as the one produced in our European ArcelorMittal plants, balance high polarization, high strength, and low losses, creating superior energy efficiency.

 

Higher motor efficiency is achieved by using electrical steels with lower iron losses in a wide frequency range

Higher motor efficiency is achieved by using electrical steels with lower iron losses in a wide frequency range

Local electrical steel manufacturing lowers negative impacts, raises benefits

Europe’s goal of reducing emissions to restore environmental balance will stumble if we rely on electrical steels, batteries, and electric motors that are developed in regions where less attention is paid to the environmental impact of their production.

If Europe does not have industrial autonomy in this area, it cannot fully control emissions across the complete supply chain. This hampers the impact of targets that aim to transition the region into a greener and more circular economy. In the current political climate, there is also a danger that national trade laws will limit access to imports of electrical steels, batteries, and motors. As we have seen in the recent past, some countries will prioritise their own markets first to gain any competitive advantage.

Transportation is an area where local production helps to mitigate supply chain risks. A shortage of shipping containers is already pushing up the delivery costs – and availability – of goods that come from the other side of the world. Shipping batteries, electric motors, and electrical steels by air to Europe is not sustainable either. If these products are manufactured locally they can be easily transported by using road and rail modes – many of which will be electrified soon. And promoting the advantages of these products being “Made in Europe” will have a positive impact on employment and society in general.

 

ArcelorMittal’s iCARe® family includes solutions for all types of electrical machines

ArcelorMittal’s iCARe® family includes solutions for all types of electrical machines

ArcelorMittal ready to meet European demand

ArcelorMittal is already producing the high-quality electrical steels European industry needs. We have also made significant investments to help us extend our product offer and provide even more efficient solutions for clean energy generators and e-mobility traction motors. ArcelorMittal is keen to participate in the transition to a greener and more circular local economy. We are dedicated to our continuous investment in Europe to meet the soaring demand for high-quality electrical steels.

 

Watch our video: iCARe® 420 Save Boosting the power density of efficient traction motors

 

More information about iCARe®, ArcelorMittal’s range of electrical steels for e-mobility

 

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