EVs pose challenges for tool-and-die makers. Major systems that are either eliminated or simplified by electrification include transmission, fuel and exhaust, meaning companies that rely on those systems are in danger of losing significant business. EVs also contain fewer parts than a typical internal combustion vehicle.
But there also are opportunities. EVs include components that don’t exist in combustion vehicles, such as battery packs and electric motors, meaning companies can snatch up new business in a quickly growing market.
Bowman Precision Tooling, in Brantford, Ontario, about 70 miles southwest of Toronto, provides automotive metal-stamping dies for advanced, high-strength steel and aluminum parts to the Detroit 3 and European automakers.
About 80 percent of Bowman’s business today is related to BEVs, said Jamie Bowman, the company’s president, and he anticipates that figure will remain high in the years to come as automakers look to used more advanced, lightweight materials in their EVs to increase battery range and efficiency.
“For us, it’s great for business,” he said. “Anytime you have new models, you need new tooling. And typically, that means new tooling for advanced parts, which is less of a commodity. We’re able to offer that.”
Well-run businesses will have an opportunity to get ahead of the pack on the EV transition, Harbour said.
“They’ll capitalize on that and get some new business over the next few years,” she said. “There will be an opportunity. It’s just a function of being able to get financially through now to then.”