BASF in cars

The automotive industry is one of BASF’s most important customer sectors. The company generated around 17 percent of its turnover with products for the automotive industry in 2016.

BASF is the leading chemical supplier to the automotive industry. There are approximately 1.2 billion cars on the roads around the world and the number is rising further. Even now, half of all cars worldwide feature a paint coat or plastic component from BASF, whose customers include all major manufacturers in the automotive sector. Among others, plastics, coatings, pigments, fuel additives and catalysts from BASF make automobiles more efficient and lighter; they reduce pollutant emissions and provide the basis for combining functional and appealing design. Our graphic provides additional information on some BASF products that are used in cars and how they perform.

Battery technology is the heart of electric vehicles. Batteries need to bepowerful, quick charging and affordable. This is a task for chemistry, becausebatteries are small power plants that convert chemical into electrical power.And this is one of the greatest challenges for the future. BASF primarilydevelops cathode materials and electrolyte formulations designed to improvethe performance of existing battery systems. Other projects focus onresearching materials and components for future generations of batteries thatfeature a higher storage capacity, performance and lifetime. The objectivesare clear: Vehicles in the Bolt and Tesla class equipped with commonly usedlithium-ion batteries currently have a range of 300 to 500 kilometers, so it ishoped that future battery generations such as lithium-sulfur systems will morethan double the range affordably.


Besides functionality, design and form are decisive factors when itcomes to cars. BASF products are not only functional – their beautifulsurfaces and appealing haptics are also impressive.

The color is very important to many car owners, who are increasinglydemanding greater depth and dimension in paints. The answer isthe award-winning special-effect paint XSpark®, which was recentlyhonored with the Red Dot design award. Its intense radiance, particularly in sunlight, is due to the integrated glass particles. The surfaces of dark-colored cars heat up considerably whenexposed to sunlight.

Vehicle interiors can also become unbearably hot unless the airconditioning is working at full blast. Functional pigments from BASFstop drivers getting hot and bothered at the wheel. They ensure thatsurfaces coated with darker paints do not heat up as intensely on hotdays by reflecting radiation rather than absorbing it. The passengercabin remains significantly cooler, which reduces the energy neededfor air conditioning.

Leather interiors represent elegance and exclusivity, but are alsorobust and easy to maintain. And leather can also contribute toreducing weight. Artiria leather from BASF is produced in a specialprocess using Relugan® RE & RF and Densodrin® DP. The leather is 20 percent lighter than conventional leather used for car seats, butjust as tear resistant. A light coating provides physical propertieswithout negatively affecting the leather’s natural characteristics. Theproducts in the Astacin® and Lepton® ranges are free from solventsand other volatile organic substances; this prevents unpleasantodors, among other benefits.

The transfer coating technology valure® allows virtually unlimiteddesign freedom in car interiors. The coating consists of water-basedpolyurethane dispersions that can be applied onto leather, textiles orplastics.The coating is microporous and offers enhanced breathabilityand comfort. Valure offers the possibility to equip seat covers orplastic components with leather structures, geometric designs orsoft-touch effects.