One of the biggest challenges in the global automotive industry today is the transition from conventional or internal combustion engines to electric motors and hybrid drives in all types of vehicles, said Armin Hodzic, director of the FBiH Chamber of Economy of the FB&H (P K FBiH) energy sector and project coordinator "Development of the FBiH Automotive Industry".
As a member of the PK FBiH delegation, Hodzic visited the Frankfurt International Motor Show these days. It is a fair which, by its importance and size, is at the very top of the world's car shows and in addition to Geneva, it is the most important manifestation of this type at the European as well as the world level.
The number one topic in the world when it comes to the automotive industry, Hodzic added, is the manufacture of electrically powered vehicles with as much autonomy as possible. As is already known, the main and most expensive part of an electrically powered vehicle is the battery from which the vehicle is powered. Currently there are several types and technologies of battery making, it is important to emphasize that neither type has primacy over the rest but all with certain advantages and disadvantages.
- When it comes to BiH companies, it is very important to keep up-to-date on current trends, adapt and actively engage in processes that have long been inevitable. The mass production of electrically driven vehicles will cause some of the existing vehicle components to cease to be used and therefore to be manufactured, while some other components will start to be made extensively. Our companies should take this fact seriously and turn it into their advantage - said Hodzic.
According to the latest information available, there are about 30 registered electric vehicles in BiH. Hodzic said that all the countries in the region, that is, within the former Yugoslavia, are in a similar position, except for Slovenia, which is slightly higher in terms of the number of registered electric vehicles.
- What needs to be paid special attention, or rather insist, is the urgent construction of infrastructure for charging electric cars or charging stations. According to available data, there are approximately 30 electric vehicle charging stations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. If we do not have a well-built infrastructure for charging electric vehicles, not only will the number of registered vehicles in BiH be very small, we could become a "black hole" when it comes to passing electric vehicles through our country - Hodzic emphasized.
The German economy has been slowing in recent months leading to a decrease in production volume, and this country is otherwise very important to the BiH auto industry in terms of quantities and value of goods.
- When it comes to the German economy, the data shows that it is in a slight decline compared to previous years, but also to projections and plans based on parameters from previous years. When it comes to the reasons for the decline, I would rather say that there is a stagnation of projects and orders due to the situation in the global market due to the already mentioned transition to electric vehicles. As far as I know, from discussions with representatives of BiH companies, all companies are more or less faced with moving or prolonging the deadlines for the beginning of project development or delivery of orders - said Hodzic.
Also, there are companies that, despite the state of the economy in Germany, record the highest production and export results. Given the increasing trend, or better said, the inevitability of electric vehicle construction by all global vehicle manufacturers, it was to be expected that this situation would develop.
- It is very important for BiH companies to become actively involved in the chains of suppliers of components for electric vehicles, which will represent a large source of business in the future - Hodzic added.
Talking about the effects of participation in auto industry fairs, Hodzic said that, although it does not seem to us in BiH, in the world, and especially in Germany, the fair activities are increasing year by year. Based on a large number of surveyed exhibitors at trade fairs in Germany (tens of thousands), 83 percent responded that they exhibited at fairs to showcase the latest technologies and achievements, and to invite and welcome their current customers and thus honour them. What is foreseen for the fairs in the coming years is that the format of fairs and exhibitions will change and that the accent of the fairs of the automotive industry will be the latest techniques and technologies in the world of automotive instead of when the accent was a finished product - a car.
- When it comes to the effects of exhibiting at the auto shows, it is very important to emphasize that the automotive industry is a rather sluggish industry. From the very concept of a solution or technology, it can take up to seven to eight years to reach batch production or application. If the exhibitor company has one or two quality contacts during the fair, it can be said that the exhibition at the fair fulfilled the expectations and that the fair was successful. When it comes to Bosnian companies, they are also exhibiting at trade shows, and our companies are following the global trends and are largely participating in the fairs of the automotive industry - Hodzic told FENA.