Future of electric vehicles
U-M takes convergent approach to ensure the EV revolution is accessible and equitable for all.
With automakers committing to all-electric vehicle lineups and 52% of vehicle sales anticipated to be all-electric by 2030, there is a renewed national investment to make the switch to electric vehicles—and Michigan Engineers are working to ensure the road traveled leads to accessible, safe, sustainable and equitable solutions for all.
As a hub for convergent research, Michigan Engineering provides an environment where all of the players—automakers, legislators, regulators, academics and researchers—interact to tackle not only the technology, but also how EVs integrate with our society to help close critical gaps.
“Our university is at an EV inflection point, as are the auto industry and society at large as we prepare for major EV innovations,” said Alec D. Gallimore, the Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering, Richard F. and Eleanor A. Towner Professor, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, and professor of aerospace engineering. “We have faculty working to provide insight, guidance and thought leadership—before EVs become a majority of production models and society’s primary vehicle fleet.”
Building upon both established and upcoming partnerships, Michigan Engineering is spearheading the $130 million, state-funded Electric Vehicle Center, a first of its kind in the nation. The center will allow the state to leverage the existing resources at U-M and throughout the state to focus on the future of electric vehicle technology and workforce development. This includes expertise in the Michigan Battery Lab, Mcity, the U-M Transportation Research Institute and top-tier academic departments, providing broad expertise in EVs, AVs, and connected vehicles.
Researchers are partnering with the U.S. Department of Energy to develop new design tools and establish best practices for material producers and carmakers to take recycling into account from start to finish in production. Teams are also hoping to alleviate disproportionate pressure placed on countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo and Philippines for precious battery metals.
“From conducting state-of-the-art research in key technologies such as batteries, to training next-generation engineers, to planning future infrastructure and dozens of other concerns, Michigan Engineering is at the center of mobility,” said Gallimore.
Michigan Engineering’s people-first approach combines excellent engineering fundamentals, a convergence of disciplines, global worldviews and equity-centered values to help close societal gaps and elevate all people.