China's automotive industry is working to meet stricter environmental protection standards, such as reducing emissions and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from motor vehicles, along with the pressing need to realize the potential of emerging technologies to achieve sustainable growth. As the leading chemical partner for all major automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) worldwide and in China, BASF provides integrated solutions with advanced materials and innovative capabilities. In this way, we are helping the automotive industry achieve intelligent manufacturing in China.
In automotive production, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) form a major source of air pollution, while VOCs from carinteriors affect the air quality in the car cabin. To effectively reduce their impact, the Chinese government released a Roadmap of reducing VOCs in the automotive industry in 2017 to set new limits and promote low-VOC applications intransportation.
Waterborne coatings can help reduce VOCs compared toconventional solvent borne coatings. BASF helped severalChinese OEMs successfully switch from solventborne towaterborne technology, meeting the new regulations in 2017. This was achieved with BASF's waterborne coatings and Integrated Process II. This technology integrates the functionality of the primer in the basecoat layer without compromising on thehigh quality of the finish. For a number of other Chinese automotive manufacturers, BASF provided expertise to help establish their new paint shops and production lines equipped with waterborne technology.
BASF has developed polyurethane system solutions based on low emission raw materials specifically for car interiors. The solution Elastoflex® is based on specific basic raw materials and additives that help reduce VOCs in the end product. VOCs from seating cushions, headliner foam systems and floor carpets made with Elastoflex fulfill critical requirements for major OEMs without compromising physical properties. The integral skin foam system Elastofoam®, made with a waterblown process, is typically used for steering wheel systems. In collaboration with Yanfeng Automotive Interiors, a major Chinese auto parts manufacturer, BASF developed a prototype automotive instrument panel made with Haptex®, a non-solvent based polyurethane system for synthetic leather. There is no solvent involved during the process, differentiating it from conventional organic solvent-based wet and dry processes, thus reducing emissions in the car cabin.
BASF is also contributing to VOC reduction in the commercial transport industry by supplying locally produced waterborne coatings solutions to Beijing Ruiweitong Engineering Machinery Co., Ltd., a Chinese manufacturer of railway maintenance machinery. In 2017, Ruiweitong became the first in China’s commercial transportation sector to use waterborne coatings in all layers of its machinery.
By the end of 2016, pollutants from motor vehicle emissions in China totaled 44.7 million tons1. The government releasedChina National Stage 6 emission regulations (China Stage 6), one of the world’s most stringent standards.
As the global leader in emissions control technologies, BASF is working with Great Wall Motors to apply the new Four-Way Conversion Catalyst (FWC™) system to its future modelsof light-duty gasoline vehicles to meet the China Stage 6b2 standard. With a lower back pressure, the FWC solution removes all four types of pollutants from gasoline engines, including carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC), oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and particulate matter (PM), with only onecomponent, which will not impair the performance of the engine and maximizes fuel efficiency.
In addition, BASF experts have developed innovative coating technologies which enable a proven high conversion rate and filtration efficiency in the alternating channels of thesubstrates. In terms of new limits of Real Driving Emissions3 in China Stage 6b, BASF is also leveraging its experience inmeeting the Euro 6 emission standard.
With this approach, the FWC solution helps Great Wallmeet lower limits for CO, HC and NOx, and tighter control of PM from gasoline-engine powered vehicles, as required by China Stage 6 and various stringent emissions standards inoverseas markets.
Apart from FWC, BASF is also developing the Lean NOxTrap for light-duty diesel vehicles to meet the stringent China Stage 6 standard.
1. 2017 Annual Report on Environmental Management of Motor Vehicles in China, Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People's Republic of China
2. Under China Stage 6, there are two sets of emission limits to be implemented in two phases nationwide — China 6a in July 2020 and China 6b in July 2023. Limit values for China 6a aregenerally comparable with those under Euro 6 standard, while China 6b further lowers the limits.
3. As opposed to the laboratory test cycles, Real Driving Emissions measures vehicle emissions under real driving environment.
As Chinese car makers upgrade their products and technologies catering to the dynamic domestic market, theyare also actively seeking opportunities for a global presence, including in developing markets. BASF is helping its Chinese partners go global with its global network and know-how, to achieve mutual growth.
As the sole supplier of automotive coating solutions to BELGEE, a joint venture between local brand champion Geely and the Belarusian auto maker BELAZ, BASF issupplying its new plant near Minsk, Belarus, with comprehensive coatings products for both car body andplastic parts. The plant is BELGEE's first production facility,producing 60,000 car bodies for sport utility vehicles for theRussian, Belarusian, Ukrainian and Kazakh markets annually.With a long-term partnership with Geely in China and BASF’sautomotive coatings expertise in the Eastern Europeanmarkets, BASF pooled an international team from China,Russia and Germany to work together throughout thestartup phase of the new plant, providing professional andtechnical support to BELGEE.
In Indonesia, BASF supported the first local plant ofanother long-term Chinese partner SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile (SGMW) to start its production in 2017. Throughclose collaboration with SGMW’s research and development team in China, BASF helped SGMW meet the specific requirements of local regulations for emissions and provide dengineering and technical support from China. The start ofproduction for BASF’s first catalyst project with SGMW Indonesia is expected in 2018. BASF also provided local engineering support to the SGMW plant for the production of lightweight polyurethane foam for the headlining and hoodliner, as well as polyamide 6 for the engine hood.
BASF is supporting China's new energy vehicle (NEV) industr ywith advanced battery materials, innovative lightweight solutions in engineering plastics and polyurethanes, automotive coatings, and brake fluid solutions, to enable the rapid development of e-mobility in China.
BASF is the sole supplier for automotive coatings andbrake fluid for ES8, the high-performance smart electric sports utility vehicle of the Chinese NEV manufacturer NIO. Through joint development among NIO’s design team in Germany and BASF coatings‘ global and local teams, ES8 uses BASF coatings solutions for surface pre-treatment and all coatings layers, as well as an advanced thin-film technology for metal protection and waterborne coatings. Adapting its experience with gasoline vehicles to NEVs, BASF enhanced the safety and reliability of ES8’s brakesystem with the brake fluid solution HYDRAULAN® 404. BASF has also been appointed as an exclusive coatings and brake fluid supplier by CHJ Automotive, a newly established Chinese manufacturer focusing on smart electric vehicles, tosupply its first plant in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province.
To help NEVs further reduce energy consumption, in 2017 BASF developed solutions for electric vehicles including lightweight chassis, mounts, brackets and stabilizer links. These are among BASF's various lightweight solutions made of engineering plastics, supplied to leading Chinese NEV makers.