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June 6, 20242 min read

Navigating the Electrification Landscape in Off-Highway Machinery

Robert Stavrevski, ZAPI GROUP's Director of Business Development-Europe, presented a session at the 4th Design & Development Zero-Emission Off-Highway Machinery conference in Berlin, Germany on Thursday, May 23, 2024. His insightful presentation explored the current trends, market drivers, and strategic approaches to electrification within the vehicle industry, particularly focusing on off-highway machinery.

Stavrevski began by outlining the electrification trends, noting that light electrical vehicles are leading the charge due to their lower volume and simpler transition to electric systems. He pointed out that the next frontier is off-highway vehicles, which present unique challenges such as establishing robust charging infrastructures. Commercial vehicles with over 200 horsepower represent the latter part of the trend, moving more cautiously towards electrification due to their complexity and power requirements.

The push for electrification is largely driven by legislative mandates and a growing demand for sustainable solutions. End users are increasingly aware of the tangible benefits of electric vehicles, including zero emissions, reduced maintenance costs, and improved operational health and comfort due to less vibration and noise. These advantages are not only beneficial for operators but also contribute positively to environmental conservation efforts.

During his talk, Stavrevski emphasized the importance of scaling electrification efforts in alignment with a company's maturity and volume. He advised starting with standard units and single applications to facilitate learning and market testing. As companies gain experience, they can leverage standard platforms to serve broader markets with greater flexibility. A key takeaway was the critical role of solution providers in ensuring successful integration and optimization of electrification systems.

Stavrevski highlighted the rapid advancements in technology that are bolstering the case for electrification. With increasing power density and cost-effectiveness of power electronics, the barriers to entry are lowering, making it easier for companies to integrate these systems into their vehicles.

Looking ahead, Stavrevski painted an optimistic picture of the opportunities that electrification presents. Beyond manufacturing electric vehicles, companies can expand into related business areas such as charging infrastructure, battery pack solutions, and renewable energy offerings. He also touched upon the synergy between electrification and autonomy, suggesting that the future will likely see these technologies come together.

Stavrevski's presentation underscored the need for a measured approach to electrification—starting small, learning from the market, and gradually building up expertise. By adopting modular systems, standardized software across products, and focusing on continuous learning, companies can effectively navigate the transition to electrification.

Interested in continuing the conversation on electrification and its implications for off-highway machinery? Robert Stavrevski and the ZAPI GROUP team welcome inquiries and discussions. Connect with us.