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As electric vehicle (EV) and hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) technology continues to cement itself as the future for the automotive industry, CWIEME Chicago will introduce a dedicated HEV and EV Trail at its 2017 exhibition, taking place at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center Oct. 3-5.

By positioning suppliers of HEV and EV motors along a route through the show, the leading exhibition for coil winding, transformer, and electric motor manufacturing aims to make it even easier and more efficient for visitors and exhibitors to connect with the right business partners.

Participants in the EV Trail will include Tempel Steel Co, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, Nittoku America Inc., Wieland Metals Inc., Breuckmann GmbH & Co.KG, and many more.

“The introduction of the EV Trail reflects an important change in the CWIEME community around the world,” says Haf Cennydd, CWIEME portfolio director. “We are seeing increased attendance from automotive OEMs—Tesla Motors is now a regular participant—while exhibitors are launching new products, tailored to the needs of hybrid and electric vehicle motor designers.”

At CWIEME Berlin in June, ArcelorMittal launched the second generation of its iCARe electrical steels, while Essex Furukawa presented its new high-voltage winding wire—both specifically for EVs.

CWIEME Chicago will also host a series of special sessions Oct. 4-5 that will focus on key electric motor and powertrain developments, as well as advancements in core adjacent EV technologies, from battery technology to interoperability. The discussions will be led by speakers from McKinsey, Tesla, Mississippi State University, Protean Electric, DHX Machines, University of Kentucky, Charged EV, and more. Together, they will look to explore the opportunities and challenges in making EV the dominant reality across domestic and commercial transportation systems over the next five years.

Once previously a relatively niche application for electric motors, hybrid and electric vehicles are rising in popularity. According to a McKinsey & Company seminar at CWIEME Berlin, more than 200,000 electric vehicles were sold in Europe last year—a 110% increase from 2014. While they still represent only 2% of the overall automotive market, sales are on a growth curve—moving from innovators to early adopters. In a 2016 McKinsey survey, 30-45% of U.S. and German vehicle buyers said they would consider an EV purchase in the near future.

“Governments around the world have pledged to reduce CO2 emissions, while metropolitan mayors in cities, such as Mexico City, Paris, and London, are taking a strong stance on air quality in their regions,” says Prof. David Greenwood of Warwick Manufacturing Group at CWIEME Berlin. “Consumers are thinking twice about purchasing diesel cars they might not be able to drive everywhere they want to. At the same time, consumers are starting to realize that EVs are quieter, more comfortable and have better driving characteristics.”

CWIEME’s Cennydd adds, “Rapid technological progress combined with tipping points in consumer behavior make it difficult to predict exactly when the EV market will reach its potential but we are seeing a lot of investment in electric motor design, materials and manufacturing for this application. Since it is such a new area, there is not an established supply chain, meaning there are huge opportunities for the CWIEME community to grow along with the market. We look forward to supporting this growth at CWIEME Chicago this October.” 

The Evolution of CWIEME

CWIEME is the world’s largest and longest running exhibition for materials, equipment, components, machinery and services for the manufacture of transformers, electric motors, generators and other electrical devices. The first show in the CWIEME exhibition series took place in Berlin more than 20 years ago. Since then, CWIEME exhibitions have grown in size and number, encompassing four shows every year—in Chicago, Istanbul, Shanghai, and Berlin. Shanghai and Istanbul were the most recent additions to the series in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

The organizers have continued to add new features, such as the New Exhibitor Zone and Machinery Demo Zone, to help attendees make the most of the show’s networking opportunities. At the same time the conference program has developed to become an integral part of the exhibition, rivalling many paid-for conferences.

Cennydd concludes, “CWIEME is more than a tradeshow; rather it’s an opportunity to network, learn and discuss the issues affecting the industry in a bite-sized, targeted and valuable way. We look forward to welcoming visitors of all levels and functions to Chicago this October.”