Fuji Oozx Inc. is one of hundreds of automotive-parts suppliers in Japan whose very existence is being threatened by the world’s shift toward electric vehicles.

For almost 70 years, the company has been making intake valves — an essential component of any gasoline car that controls the flow of gas in and out of an engine’s cylinder. Typically made of copper, they’re light and highly heat resistant and use a decades-old technology that’s not needed in any electric car.

"We have to start looking for a new business,” President Satoshi Tsujimoto, 63, said from his office adjacent to Fuji Oozx’s factory in Shizuoka Prefecture, an elongated region that traces the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Fuji Oozx supplies automakers including Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co.