• Develops a slow charging device for electric vehicles (EV) applying World Premium STS steel materials
  • Offers a design solution to increase steel demand in new markets for a more luxurious image

POSCO is using design in solutions marketing to expand its application scope of steel materials to electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.

EVs are emerging as a global focus, showing rapid growth with an annual growth rate of at least 50% and selling 250,000 vehicles globally in 2015, which is double the number from the previous year.

In South Korea, the Ministry of Environment announced last month that it will invest 200 billion KRW in the eco-friendly EVindustry this year, and create a demand for 8,000 EVs. As the scope of business has expanded to the private sector in 2015 based on the government-led policy support, related firms are urgently seeking ways to jump into this emerging field.

Accordingly, such firms are implementing various differentiation strategies to secure product and brand competitiveness in case the EV charging service will be provided at a cost.

Last July, the Design Solution Task Force of the Structure Research Group in POSCO's Steel Solution Marketing Department discovered the potential demand for steel in the EV charging infrastructure market by collaborating with POSCO ICT in EV charging service designs, and is set out to upgrade the quality of the existing market products.

In addition, POSCO has recently succeeded in developing an EV slow-charging device that is scheduled to be released in 2016. The company will be able to engage the market for the first time, while also expanding the market for products that are applying World Premium (WP) steel materials.

The EV slow-charging device that is applying WP steel material 'PossSD' is a product that combines the hang-on-the-wall format and the standing format. Two types are implemented into one as a means to enhance productivity and efficiency of the product.

Considering that each EV manufacturer has a different form of charging cable, this new device can simultaneously charge two vehicles at once by applying two channels (5-pin and 7-pin).

While other products tend to adopt the powder coating method on general cold-rolled steel (CR), POSCO applied PossSD surface processing material to sustain the natural texture of the steel and emphasize a premium product image. Moreover, POSCO is now more likely to secure marketability and market share by resolving the issue of corrosion caused by the external environment.

This collaboration was based on the cooperative system of POSCO and POSCO ICT that formed a consortium with charger suppliers such as JoongAng Control and molding technology providers.In particular,POSCO has jointly developed product design with JoongAng Control since the latter half of last year, and has since completed detail design and prototype production in January, after which it held an exhibition and a meeting with relevant staff at the Global R&D Center in Songdo, Incheon.

That day, POSCO ICT and JoongAng Control stated that difficulties in design-related R&D of suppliers and manufacturers have been resolved, and functionality has also improved. They also decided to discuss plans for immediate mass production with the goal of initially supplying the product to GM Korea later this year. Further to this, they also opted to look into diversifying the lighting or colors of the main body in order to satisfy the diverse needs of clients in the EV-charging market including POSCO ICT.

Protech Korea, a manufacturer, exhibited great interest in POSCO's materials, marveling at ``the exemplary quality, rigidity and dent resistance of PossSD, first encountered through prototype production``. Additionally, the company decided to review and apply the method to lighten the weight of the product by using PossSD's high intensity and reduce the board thickness from 1.0mm to 0.8mm in cooperation with the Stainless Marketing Department.

Starting with this collaboration with POSCO ICT, POSCO plans to expand the scope of design solution applications from EV charging infrastructure to other areas with potential demand such as charger canopies, charging stations and parking towers, and endeavor to respond to the expansion of the future eco-friendly energy market and increase the sales of WP steel materials.

* PossSD: This consists of lean duplex stainless steel with super ductility using a strip-casting process that can directly produce hot-rolled coils in molten steel without a separate process. It has increased cost competitiveness by significantly reducing the content of expensive raw materials such as nickel and molybdenum while sustaining the general STS steel grade's moldability and corrosion resistance. This is registered with the Korean Industrial Standards (KS) as STS329FLD and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) as S82013. Last October, POSCO was awarded as the Innovation of the Year by the World Steel Association for the development of PossSD.

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