At ArcelorMittal, making steel is a process that involves just as much innovation as any industry in the world. Their engineers develop new steel solutions that find their way into all manner of businesses and products, such as the automotive industry.
One of their most important developments is the lightweight S-in motion® steel solutions they crafted to help make battery electric vehicles (BEVs) safer, more efficient, and more affordable. Their belief is that the future of mobility is electric – both for the sake of the environment and driver convenience and their mission is to make them affordable with steel. And at ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor, several employees are leading by example – each driving a BEV as their car of choice.
“For me, one of the big things is efficiency,” said Andrew Mullen, a shift manager at ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor who drives a Chevy Bolt. “Internal combustion vehicles are only around 20% efficient, compared to 70-80% in a BEV. I feel like resources are important and need to be consumed responsibly. Moving to electric vehicles is one big way we can start moving forward.”
The lightweight steel solutions developed by ArcelorMittal help improve that efficiency, letting BEVs go farther before they need a recharge. They also help decrease the cost of BEVs significantly, lowering the barrier of entry for drivers to try out their first electric car.
“Once more people get a chance to drive a BEV, they’re going to catch on a lot quicker,” said Bill Rippel, rolling & finishing operations manager at ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor and a Tesla driver. “It’s really important that ArcelorMittal’s work is making them more practical. They become lighter, stronger, safer, and take you further.”
The S-in motion® innovations that uses the right steel for the right applications, also have the added benefit of helping to make the vehicles more fun to drive, since they contribute to giving BEVs a lower center of gravity – as noted by Dave Haushalter, an engineer at ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor. He decided to get an electric vehicle after test driving Mullen’s Bolt, and settled on a BMW i3.
“It’s kind of like getting the best of all worlds,” he said. “BEVs are quiet like a luxury sedan, with the power to weight ratio and quickness of a sports vehicle. So, you get luxury and performance, and part of that is because all the weight is down low to the ground.”
With all those benefits, Mullen believes ArcelorMittal is correct in saying that the future of mobility is electric.
“With long lasting battery packs declining in cost, you’re going to see a huge adoption from average drivers,” he said. “They’re cheaper and they’re better for the environment. The work ArcelorMittal is doing to develop the next generation steel grades is a huge driver of growth in the industry. I see gas vehicles being obsolete within a couple decades, they might already be now.” In fact, the California Governor recently announced an executive order requiring that all new passenger cars and trucks sold in the state be zero-emission vehicles by 2035.
To find out more about the work that ArcelorMittal is doing to create high strength, light weight steel solutions for battery electric vehicles, visit automotive.arcelormittal.com.