ALT Technologies Attends The Automotive Interiors Expo 2022

BY ALT Technologies | 18th November 2022

This year’s interiors show at Stuttgart brought a lot of attention to printed electronics, large screens and heating systems. 

ALT Technologies attended the 2022 Automotive Interiors Expo Europe held in Messe, Stuttgart and were impressed with the new product showcasing. Our global account manager, Erwin de Groot, participated in the three-day event to speak with various companies about printed electronics, new electrification developments and touch-sensitive features. 

EVs and batteries are taking precedence in most conversations, so we decided to do a roundup of what else is on the automotive scene right now. 


The Focal Point 

Erwin highlighted the new electrification-related developments, such as dashboard developments with large screens and many touch-sensitive features. Look in any electric vehicle nowadays, and you’ll see a sizeable tablet-type interface or lengthy touchscreen pad across the dash. Many complex technologies go into these developments, but they are under constant scrutiny due to the delicate manner in which they are used. Accidentally press a button lightly, and you could switch on the hazard lights, unbeknownst to you. OEMs must continue to test and develop these to provide convenience and comfort further whilst ensuring maximum safety. 

“I also see the development of heating systems to replace the conventional heating used in gasoline cars (ICE – internal combustion engine) and now used in electric vehicles,” says Erwin after the show. This is because the interior of a car doesn’t just come down to the look and feel but also how comfortable the passengers feel temperature-wise. 

Traditional gas-powered vehicles reuse the heat produced by the engine during combustion to create warm air for the heater. On the other hand, electric cars cannot make heated air this way. Instead, these vehicles must rely on different mechanisms to heat the car’s interior. As a result, both ICE and EVs are sensitive to cold-temperature adverse effects. To improve this in EVs, companies are developing heat pumps that use the temperature gradient between the outside cold air and refrigerant. These temperature differences allow the EV to heat the cabin air with less power.

The electric car has a conventional heater that converts electrical energy into heat energy. When the outside air’s heat moves into the electric car’s cabin space, the heat pump takes its thermal energy and, like an AC, compresses it. Then it releases the heated air inside the cabin.


Ever-Present Printed Electronics

Erwin was not surprised to see many companies promoting their printed electronics ranges. Printed electronics tie perfectly in with interior developments, as their lightweight and flexible characteristics prove unmatched in EV development. From curved dash displays to heated seatbelts, there is much growth and opportunity for printed electronics and circuit boards. 

ALT moved in this direction as printed electronics’ development is becoming more mainstream. One of the clear opportunities for printed electronics in EV interiors are HMI touch panels, flexible temperature sensors, heaters, and pressure sensors for battery monitoring and management. You can read more about ALT’s printed electronics capabilities here

As well as printed electronics in heater systems, Erwin observed a new heater system using woven technologies for heaters in the armrest and door panel. The woven mesh is made of silver-coated carbon and copper threads. These features make it perfect for high thermal conductivity and low heat capacity. In addition, the woven mesh is something to watch out for due to its lightweight characteristics. 


Feeling Inspired

The events of the past couple of years might have been tumultuous, but they have not stopped the automotive industry from looking ahead and staying on top of developments. If anything, they have propelled advancements forward as the world realizes the pressing need for EV uptake and moving away from gas vehicles. 

Tradeshows such as the Interiors Expo are exciting for us, as they not only give us new ideas but further prove that our in-house R&D is moving in line with the trends and what our customers need. Contact us today to learn more about our discoveries or how we can help you create the perfect automotive custom solution. 





Need Help Finding A Solution?

Back to top