Gestamp Automocion SA will be largely insulated from the car industry’s high investment costs to develop electric autos after taking steps years ago to produce the large, lightweight metal parts the vehicles need, Chairman Francisco Riberas said.
Gestamp’s leadership in hot-stamping technology already enables it to supply lower-weight steel body structures and chassis that help automakers grapple with ways to meet tightening emissions rules and develop battery-powered models, Riberas said. The company’s research is focussed on making ever-lighter parts to help both conventional and electric cars use less energy to travel.
“Weight reduction is even more important for electric vehicles, as it’s directly connected to the battery life,” Riberas, the 53-year-old son and namesake of Gestamp’s founder, said.
Pushed by stricter air-pollution regulations targeting their fleets, automakers are developing low- or zero-emission vehicles, with investments set to total
$50 billion through 2020 in Germany alone. Sales of electric vehicles will grow 40 percent in 2018 to 1.5 million, with Europe expected to account for about 400,000, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.