The electric vehicle (EV) market is experiencing substantial growth, which is expected to accelerate as the UK’s 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel vehicle sales approaches. At Albion Languages, we do a lot of translation for the automotive sector and like to ensure that we keep up to date with all the latest industry developments so that we can best serve our clients.

Electric vehicles – the facts

The UK Government stipulated in 2020 that all new cars and vans sold in the UK must be fully electric by 2035. The sale of new cars and vans powered entirely by petrol and diesel will then be outlawed by 2030, followed by a ban on the sale of new hybrid vehicles by 2035.

Electric vehicles accounted for 18.5% of all new cars registered in 2021 and are projected to outsell diesel and mild hybrid diesel by the end of 2022. The UK is currently home to Europe’s second largest electric car market, helped by the 76.3% increase in demand in 2021.

However, this growth in demand has highlighted a surprising area of increased need which is for the supply of precious metals such as platinum, gold and silver. In this blog, we will establish what the growth in electric vehicles means for the metals industries, the automotive industry and how we can support with language and translation services.

How is platinum used by the car industry?

Platinum group metals are vital components of the catalytic converters used in cars. Catalytic converters use these metals as catalysts to convert the noxious substances found in engine exhausts into inert or less toxic substances. Precious metals can also be found in the fuel pump unit that supplies fuel to the engine, sensors that measure the amount of fuel, fuel injection equipment and spark plugs that ignite the fuel-air mixture in the engine combustion chamber.

With the growth in electric vehicle sales, the use of catalytic converters with internal combustion engines is set to decline, but the need for platinum could eventually be counterbalanced by the demand for platinum to be used in fuel cell cars. There is currently considerable demand from the hybrid car sector as, in these models, hydrogen passes through platinum catalysts that then produce electricity, which then powers electric motors that drive the car. Platinum is an essential component.

What about the other precious metals?

Silver is an excellent conductor of electricity and has a very high acid corrosion resistance, which makes it one of the few substances uniquely adapted to use in many different parts of an electric vehicle.

Gold is also used in circuit boards because – like silver – it is an effective electric conductor. It’s used in limited quantities though largely due to its price.

Lithium, nickel and cadmium are also expected to see a potential spike in demand. The changes in the car market mean changes for car batteries too. Batteries will be critical elements in the growth of electric cars, with lithium, nickel and cadmium potentially becoming the precious metals of the future.

How language services can support the growth in electric vehicles

Automotive translation plays a crucial role in numerous stages of the design, manufacture and sale of vehicles around the world.

The end user might possibly never be aware of the time and effort that goes into automotive translations. However, there are many processes which simply couldn’t happen without translation services.

Automotive design is a fairly niche area, with team members often in different geographic regions and belonging to different cultures. However, when managing such a complex technical process, any potential for confusion must be excluded. For all parties to be able to collaborate efficiently, they must be able to rely upon precisely translated and interpreted documentation.

Effective communication – both upstream and downstream – empowers better integration, thus allowing tasks to be completed without delay or errors due to miscommunication. Translators engaged in automotive translation projects should not only understand technical requirements of the projects but also be aware of the market into which they are being sold. There is a marked difference between technical language and market/retail language which needs to be considered.

Translating marketing material is always a vital cog in the process of maximising sales in target markets around the globe. Translation often needs to work in tandem with localisation or transcreation to capture the right marketing message. By understanding the manufacturing supply chain, we can more accurately interpret the key aspects of the international auto parts industry. If you’d like to speak to a member of our team, please get in touch today.