Electronic firms and non-automotive firms within Japan are looking at the electric vehicle market as viable for expansion. The Tokyo Motor Show highlighted several companies, including Hitachi Ltd. and Panasonic Corp. showcasing products and services that are outside their usual fields of expertise. With established brand names and a strong customer base, these companies may be able to leverage those consumers into buying electric cars sporting their company’s proprietary technology.
A prime example of the companies that are looking to expand into this space is Hitachi Ltd. With more vehicle technology being electronic, it makes sense that an electronics manufacturer like Hitachi would consider this the perfect time to approach the market. Hitachi Automotive Systems Ltd. is a subsidiary of the company that deals with producing inverters and motors for electric vehicle systems as well as driving assist systems that can be implemented in these vehicles. Hitachi, seeing the possibility of gaining a foothold in this market, has been investing in autonomous vehicle research as well.
Collaborations Introducing New Competition
Automakers have had no choice but to become partners with electronics firms to provide the technology and expertise to develop and install new EV technologies for their vehicles. However, the side effect of that is allowing electronics companies to have access to technology that they can potentially use to develop EVs on their own. Auto parts manufacturers are also speeding up to catch up to the demand for EV parts. Electric cars need far less replaceable parts than traditional internal combustion vehicles, meaning these businesses would need to figure out how to adapt their business model to the new trends.
These parts manufacturers are also teaming up with other automotive companies to help develop autonomous vehicle technology, allowing them to contribute both parts and technological know-how to the project and hopefully benefit from it if the manufacturer decides to use it within a vehicle model. It is expected that by 2040, at least half of the vehicles on roads around the world will be at least partly powered by electricity. Companies much keep pace with these advances or risk being left behind.