13 July 2023

Can the steel industry design EVs?

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Basjan Berkhout
Head of Marketing, Automotive

You might wonder why the steel industry, would go through the hassle of developing an electric vehicle to show the value of steel?

In Dutch they say: “Schoenmaker blijf bij je leest”, which basically means “why don’t you focus on what you know best, and let other people worry about things you know nothing about.” But the latter is not true. World Auto Steel (WAS) has a track record of successfully designing vehicles that already started in 1998 with ULSAB (Ultralight Steel Auto Body), which was followed up by FSV (Future Steel Vehicle) in 2013.

FSV was a fully engineered, steel-intensive design for pure Battery-Electric and Hybrid-Electric vehicles. The FSV design at that time reduced the mass by more than 35 percent compared to a benchmark vehicle, whilst at the same time meeting crash safety and durability requirements. One of the most striking features of FSV were the so-called ‘elephant trunk’ shot gun parts in the front module that ensured superior performance in the full frontal and offset crash simulations. I remember that, at first, automotive engineers that were presented the study, tended to mock this feature a bit. But on second thought it seemed perhaps even a good idea: similar shaped shot guns have been incorporated in multiple modern car models, like the Ford Focus, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Range Rover Sport and Audi e-tron. It shows the power of the WAS vehicle concept studies, which are always supported by world-class engineering firms, and in which the pinnacle of material and automotive engineering come together.