3M, DuPont, PPG, Corning new Entrants in Car Electrification Race

Electric vehicles are lighter and have fewer moving parts than conventional cars. The shift is not just about batteries.

Electric vehicles are the wave of the future even if battery technology is not where it needs to be at present. While Elon Musk and the car makers have a spotlight on batteries, what about other components in the cars?

Old-line industrial companies like 3M, PPG and DowDuPont vie to supply car makers of the future says the Wall Street Journal in its report Latest Entrants Into Electric Car Race: Makers of Post-It Notes, Paint.

  • 3M’s traffic-safety division meanwhile is developing new types of road markings and signs to better communicate with new cars’ navigation sensors such as lane-departure warnings. Scientists there have also been developing films to camouflage sensors that monitor whether drivers are staying awake, and screens built into rear-view mirrors to display backward-facing cameras.
  • PPG Industries, the Pittsburgh-based paints and coatings maker, has been developing car paints to become more visible to electronic sensors that guide autonomous vehicles.
  • Chemical producer DowDuPont is examining how to reduce the weight of vehicles with adhesives and other materials, which would increase the time between battery charges. The Delaware- and Michigan-based company expects more demand for products, such as nylon that can withstand higher temperatures in cars with heat-generating batteries, Mr. Stone said.
  • A fourth old-line industrial company, Corning Inc., has agreements in place to install its scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass—already used in cell phones—in at least 25 different models of cars in coming years, many of them not yet in production, said Jeff Evenson, chief strategy officer at the New York-based maker of specialty glass and ceramics.

Once battery technology catches up with the needs of urban drivers, gasoline powered vehicles will quickly vanish.

Meanwhile, in ways most have not yet begun to think about, cars are undergoing a historical transformation.

Everything about cars and how we drive them will change.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (18)
No. 1-18
Sechel
Sechel

won't it also change the energy sources powering the u.s. economy. less need for hydrocarbons and in particular oil. the power grid can switch from oil to gas, to wind to solar based on what is cheaper at the moment.

JonSellers
JonSellers

@Sechel: living in the 'burbs, I'd throw some solar panels on my roof and have them charge a battery all day. Then come home and plug my car into the battery for a daily recharge. Of course you can't do that in the big city.

Mike Mish Shedlock
Mike Mish Shedlock

Editor

John, Sechel - both correct

Kinuachdrach
Kinuachdrach

"gasoline powered vehicles will quickly vanish"

Kinuachdrach
Kinuachdrach

It is ok to be enthusiastic -- but stay grounded in reality. Many vehicles in the drier parts of the US are over 20 years old ... and still in good running condition. If manufacturers made only tax-subsidized electric vehicles starting today, there would still be lots of gasoline & diesel vehicles in 20 years time. And let's not even get into the question of how rapacious politicians are going to react if the tax-paying fossil fuel industries go away. The future would look very grim for currently tax-subsidized Big Wind and Big Solar.