Electric Vehicles Require More Switches Than Ever

Electric Vehicles Require More Switches Than Ever

In the era of sustainable transportation, electric vehicles (EVs) have emerged as the driving force reshaping the automotive landscape. With the global shift towards eco-friendly alternatives, the electric vehicle market is experiencing an unprecedented surge, fueled by advancements in technology, environmental consciousness and regulatory initiatives. However, beneath the sleek exteriors and high-performance batteries lies a crucial element often overlooked: the role of electromechanical switches in enabling the seamless operation of these cutting-edge vehicles.

As the demand for electric vehicles continues to soar, the need for efficient and reliable electromechanical switches has become more pronounced than ever. These seemingly small components play a pivotal role in the intricate network of systems that power and control EVs, influencing everything from safety features to energy management.

Not only are more cars being electrified, but more parts on cars are being electrified. From door handles to trunk latches and dashboards to dash cams, more and more of cars’ components are utilizing electric switches. With that, let’s look at some E-Switch offerings that could perform some of the functions on electric vehicles.

Ioniq 5 Switches
Switches in the Hyundai Ioniq 5

The most important specification a switch must have to be considered for installation on a vehicle is a wide operating temperature range. Being headquartered in Minnesota, we at E-Switch have a unique understanding of and appreciation for why this is the case.

The following tactile switches all operate in temperatures ranging from -40°C to 85°C and can perform common functions in electric vehicles: TL1014 (200,000 cycles), TL1016 (100k), TL3145 (3M cycles), TL3312 (500k), TL3701 (100k), TL3901 (50k), TL4100 (1M), TL4105 (200k), TL4110 (right-angle, 300k), TL6100 (process sealed, 1M) TL6120 (1M), TL6150 (5M), TL6155 (300k), TL6190 (right angle, 100k), TL6200 (10M), TL6300 (10M), TL6330 (100k), TL6340 (200k), TL6800 (1M), and TL9100 (100k).

There’s also a bunch of new switches being added to EV key fobs, including a switch for opening the charging door on the Hyundai Ioniq 5. The Fisker Ocean has a button on the key fob that rolls down all the windows of the car a quarter of the way. For these key fob switches, a large operating temperature range isn’t necessary but size certainly matters.

The TL3365 Series ultra-miniature, surface mount tact switch measures just 4.2mm by 3.2mm, so it’s perfect for small applications like a key fob. It has a life expectancy of 100,000 cycles and three operating force options: 180gf, 250gf and 400gf. If a longer life expectancy is required, the TL6330 Series has a 200,000-cycle life expectancy and measures just 2.8mm by 4.6mm.

The most interesting new use of switches featured on electric vehicles is for locking and unlocking the charging door. With vehicles like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Fisker Ocean now allowing drivers to use their electric vehicle as emergency generators, it’s just as important to protect access to the electricity as it was to protect against the siphoning of fuel.  

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Switch for locking the charging door on the Hyundai Ioniq 5

Once the charging door is open on the Ioniq 5, another tact switch can be pressed to close the door. E-Switch offers plenty of switches that could fulfill this function, but the TL3145 Series surface mount switch might be the best choice.

The TL3145 Series tact switch measures just 6.5mm by 6.5mm and provides dust and moisture protection at an IP67 rating. It also features a long life expectancy of up to 3 million cycles and comes in tape and reel packaging for automated installation. If your automated soldering requires a wash process, the TL6120 Series is process sealed with a life expectancy of up to one million cycles.

The evolution of automated driving functions like lane and parking assist has also resulted in more switches being used in cars. Now that cruise control allows you to take your hands off the steering wheel, there are switches that allow drivers to put their feet up, too. That’s right, the driver’s seat is becoming more and more like a recliner.

So, if you’re seeking switches for performing all the functions electric vehicles require, look no further than E-Switch. Our tactile switches with the highest operating temperature ranges should meet your needs. Find an E-Switch representative near you to order.