Driving EVs towards bluer skies
Improving air quality around the globe is a massive and urgent task that requires large scale collaboration. Much of that collaboration needs to happen in cities, where people are exposed to close-source pollutants like car emissions. For this reason, BASF is excited to be working with electric vehicle (EV) companies working to provide the personal transportation systems and clean air that people need. BASF’s global collaboration with EV manufacturer NIO set off in 2015 to help the global start-up deliver on their commitment to a brighter tomorrow.
NIO selected BASF’s automotive coatings and brake fluid as their exclusive choices for their new high-performance smart electric sports utility vehicle, the ES8. The ES8 is the first car in China to have a full aluminium body. Using aluminium means the car weighs less which brings environmental benefits such as extended range and better performance. And aluminium can be infinitely recycled without losing structural integrity.
In a unique collaboration, a global team of BASF and NIO experts worked together to develop a system of different coatings specifically developed to meet high environmental standards. The pre-treatment from BASF has a nano-technology structure and contains no nickel or phosphate, reducing potential pollutants in the factory’s waste water. The water-based top coats are better for workers in the paint shop and the environment. And the overall coatings system is designed to deliver excellent protection against corrosion, weather and accidental chipping and scratches, while ensuring the livery shines in NIO's bespoke range of colours inspired by the sky.
The team at NIO also rely on BASF’s brake fluid solution to enhance the safety and reliability of ES8’s brake system. BASF technologists built on the company’s experience with gasoline vehicles to produce the brake fluid for EVs.
“The global collaboration between BASF and NIO is developing exciting solutions for the EV industry that are helping us realise our vision of bringing back blue skies,” said William Li, NIO Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
The EV industry in China is booming. Last year, 770,000 EVs were manufactured and sold in the country, a 53% increase from 2016 and almost four times the number sold in the United States. BASF’s work to improve the efficiency of EVs also helps towards achieving the range required for incentives that the Chinese Government provides to stimulate growth in the market.
Cutting-edge developments in both car components and the manufacturing processes are vital if the industry is to reach its potential. This potential could transform the way the world’s passengers are transported while also improving sustainability by reducing carbon emissions and other pollutants in our cities.
To ensure it can support its automotive customers throughout Asia, BASF has invested in a new state-of-the-art automotive coatings plant in Shanghai. The new venture will develop and manufacture treatments and coatings that are more environmentally friendly in both production and application, including meeting stringent new emissions regulations.
“There is some very creative chemistry in our products, and we are delighted to be using them to support NIO and the growth of China’s exciting EV industry” said Frank Naber, Vice President Regional Business Management, Automotive Coatings Solutions BASF Asia Pacific. He added, “You could say we are putting blue sky thinking into BASF EV components to help the skies remain blue, and we are pretty proud of that.”