Transportation & MobilityMarch 26, 2024

Equipping Asia Pacific South with EV ecosystem software skills

  • Partnerships with Dassault Systèmes present mutually beneficial opportunities for Asia Pacific South nations to enhance their workforce’s software proficiency
  • Malaysia serves as a prime illustration of the aspirations countries can strive for in upskilling their populace
  • Within Asia Pacific South, integrating software expertise into established automotive, electronics, and ICT supply chain skills enhances the region’s competitive edge

By Simon Ng, Partner Sales Director, Customer Role Experience, Dassault Systèmes

Countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam are aspiring to climb the automobile manufacturing value chain towards an electric vehicle (EV) future. These Asia-Pacific South nations already have the basics: established ICE OEMs, component manufacturers, and an electronics manufacturing ecosystem, forming the EV supply chain’s foundation.

Thailand, the world’s tenth-largest automobile manufacturer, can build nearly two million vehicles yearly. With over 40 OEMs, automotive assemblers and more than 80 tier-1 and thousands of tier-2 suppliers, it’s well-positioned for EV advancement.

The computer parts industry, being Thailand’s largest and just ahead of the automobile sector, underlines a favorable backdrop for EV development. Notably, as the world’s second-largest exporter of computer hard drives and a key manufacturer of other personal computer components, Thailand has a strong base in the High Tech industry to bolster the EV market.

The government’s 30@30 plan aims for battery EV production volumes to reach 30% of annual vehicle production by 2030, promoting the adoption of zero-emission vehicles. As part of this goal, Thailand plans to produce 300,000 electric motorcycles, 225,000 electric cars, and up to 18,000 electric buses and trucks between 2023 and 2025.

The Thai government aims for a 30% ratio of EVs among all road vehicles by 2030. Indonesia, on the other hand, is the 17th largest producer of automobiles globally, with the capacity to produce up to one million automobiles annually. It has fewer than 10 OEMs, mainly Japanese and local Indonesian joint ventures, excluding GM and Hyundai.

Throughout Indonesia, there are hundreds of tier-1 and tier-2 suppliers. The country has recently set an ambitious target to produce 600,000 EVs by 2030, significantly exceeding the number sold in the first half of 2023. In Vietnam, where nearly 800,000 automobiles are produced annually, there are hundreds of auto part manufacturing enterprises, predominantly SMEs, challenged by low technology adoption.

The why and how of software skills in EV manufacturing

Software is central for both the operating and producing of EVs. The key gap that Asia Pacific South nations face in elevating their EV manufacturing is software.

EV software controls the crucial systems of EVs, including the battery, motor, and charging. AI and ML, integrated into electric car technology, facilitate the development of features such as customization, autonomous driving, real-time environmental analysis, and driver behavior analysis.

Software is also essential to the EV production process, enabling manufacturers to reduce lead times by 30% and design change requests by 40%. Virtual technology solutions, particularly those from Dassault Systèmes, can lower EV development costs by up to 30%.

Governments in Asia Pacific South are encouraged to incentivize EV manufacturing, bolster charging infrastructure development, and importantly, invest in skill development for EV production, focusing on technology and software adoption for EV research and development. This means training in virtual twin technologies and software development for EV operations systems such as mechanical and electrical systems, hardware bios and equipment level operating systems and other similar systems. The enhancement strategy in Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam unfolds in three phases: pre-build, build, and borrow.

This approach starts in academic settings, prioritizing STEM and software skills investment. Parallel to this, vocational training programs, mirroring Malaysia’s model, are vital for equipping the workforce with necessary software skills for the EV industry. Transitioning to EVs necessitates embracing integrated collaboration and open software innovation platforms, and the use of experience centers for practical training. Leveraging regional talent is also essential for these nations.

Helping EV manufacturers step up their game

Dassault Systèmes’ Virtual Twin Experience streamline the complete EV product lifecycle management, including key components like batteries with its packaging design and material science. By facilitating data integration across all stages of EV development, these technologies significantly reduce effort and cut costs.

From project planning to production, the 3DEXPERIENCE platform facilitates seamless collaboration and innovation in EV manufacturing. It ensures precise design intent capture and full data interoperability from design to production by the OEM.

The 3DEXPERIENCE platform guarantees accurate representation of the 3D assembly design as the final product and precision in the bill of materials. It ensures documentation leads to accurate costing and provides simulation capabilities for testing and enhancing EV performance. Seamless collaboration, including in assembly instructions, shortens lead times and boosts productivity.

Dassault Systèmes’ end-to-end solutions accelerate prototyping for additive and subtractive manufacturing, reducing time to market. Integrating data and establishing a single source of truth for it simplifies revision control, minimizes errors, and ensures seamless integration of enterprise resource planning solutions. These solutions support business development and marketing by providing accurate visual renderings of prototypes.

Bridging the software gap in Asia Pacific South’s EV supply chain

Asia Pacific South can significantly benefit in EV manufacturing by emulating Malaysia’s approach of engaging in programs like those of Dassault Systèmes’ for workforce upskilling via educational institutions. Malaysia’s “Skills of the Future” program, in collaboration with Dassault Systèmes, defines the curriculum of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector, provides student internships for practical EV skills experience, and organizes on-campus talks and hackathons.

Dassault Systèmes’ industry training center enables the Malaysian workforce to conduct live simulations with production software, offering hands-on experience on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform and access to a global network of professionals in similar fields.

At Dassault Systèmes’ Experience Centers, employees can deepen their understanding of connected autonomous vehicles, electric drive systems, and sustainable mobility with zero emissions, while honing specialized software skills. Dassault Systèmes also collaborates with governments in digitalizing the EV supply chain and reskilling the workforce for a digitally transformed work environment.

Government-subsidized or free Dassault Systèmes solution offerings facilitate the upskilling of the automotive workforce, support startups, and enhance Industry 4.0 standard adoption with virtual twin technologies. This enables Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam to leverage their automotive and manufacturing bases to build essential software, engineering and technological skills needed to establish a robust EV ecosystem aimed at achieving zero-emission objectives, empowering the EV supply chain and upskilling the workforce of the future.

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