Electric Power Steering (EPS) has become the technology of choice for fuel-efficient vehicles as vehicle manufacturers strive to reduce their CO2 emissions, according to just-auto's research unit, QUBE.
Qube research suggests that around three quarters of light vehicles worldwide are currently equipped with EPS and that this will rise to around 88% by 2023.
EPS systems offer lower energy consumption than traditional hydraulic systems, an important consideration as the automotive industry faces tougher emissions and average CO2 targets.
Additionally, EPS systems can integrate with other on-board electronics to improve overall safety and driving performance.
A further boost to EPS is coming from increasing sales of hybrid and electric vehicles that require EPS systems for steering operation in electric mode.
"Electrification is certainly one trend that is helping to drive EPS penetration up," says QUBE analyst Matthew Beecham. "We're seeing more EPS systems on the market. Its platform flexibility allows it to be applied to non-hybrid variants as well."
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However, Beecham also maintains that hydraulic systems will not disappear overnight. "Cost is a factor in some emerging markets," he says. "EPS systems tend to be more expensive than hydraulic, though that will change in the long-term as EPS achieves even greater scale and unit prices fall further."
A further finding from the QUBE research unit is that steering system makers are focusing on light-weight construction. "By reducing the weight of an EPS system it will be possible to save even more fuel in the future. Therefore new materials are being investigated at the moment," Beecham adds.
More: Why EPS prices will fall