Safety Concerns Boost Use of Electric Power Steering in European Light and Medium Commercial Vehicles

By 2021, one in two vehicles will be fitted with either partial or fully electrified steering, leaving the other half of the market open for add-on modules

Nov 19, 2015, 08:30 ET from Frost & Sullivan

LONDON, Nov. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Owing to a severe shortage of drivers, light commercial vehicle (LCV) and medium commercial vehicle (MCV) manufacturers across Europe are working towards improving safety functionalities. With added impetus from environmental regulations, it is only a matter of time before electrically actuated power steering becomes a standard feature in LCVs and MCVs. Steering electrification serves as a spring board for the provision of a whole array of safety and driver assistance functionalities such as lane keeping assist, lane centring assist and active cruise control.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Strategic Insight of Electrically Actuated Power Steering for Light and Medium Commercial Vehicles in Europe, finds that the steering electrification market for LCVs and MCVs is expected to register a compound annual growth rate of 13.5 percent from 2014 to 2021. The installed base is likely to surpass one million as early as 2018.

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With the enforcement of several retrospective bans, such as the one in France on diesel-propelled vehicles, electrifying the steering system to reduce emissions is one of the foremost researched areas in the commercial vehicle industry.

"As cities across Europe deploy pollution control strategies, fleet managers are looking to operate ancillary systems under fully electric or hybrid power systems," said Frost & Sullivan Intelligent Mobility Research Analyst Manish Menon. "Keeping pace with these trends, leading vehicle manufacturers such as Daimler and Volkswagen are already incorporating electrically actuated power steering solutions in select LCV models."

For MCVs, fully electrified steering is out of the question, at least for now, due to the vehicles' heavier front axle loads. Nevertheless, mass market suppliers will push for partial electric assist in key MCV models.

By 2021, one in two LCVs and MCVs are expected to be fitted with either a fully or partially electrified system. In vehicles still using standard hydraulic systems, fleet managers are likely to retrofit plug-and-play electrified steering add-on modules in large numbers.

"Plug-and-play modules provide benefits similar to partially electrified steering solutions," observed Menon. "Despite higher costs, add-on modules offer considerable value by enabling better integration of comfort and safety features than hydraulic solutions."

Increasing the safety and operational efficiency of LCVs and MCVs through steering electrification will pave the way for connected vehicle technologies and, in the long run, the development of autonomous trucks.

Strategic Insight of Electrically Actuated Power Steering for Light and Medium Commercial Vehicles in Europe (MB4C-18) is part of the Automotive & Transportation ( Growth Partnership Service program. The study analyses the steering electrification market for LCVs and MCVs across Europe. It provides a strategic overview of LCV and MCV steering electrification solutions, with an in-depth breakdown of market size and forecasts. It evaluates market attractiveness while clearly quantifying the current and future potential for electrified steering solutions in Europe.

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