The automotive industry is making intensive efforts in decarbonization while going smarter, and innovative material solutions can make an important contribution to achieving this goal. In light of such trends, Covestro and Chinese premium electric vehicle brand HiPhi unveiled a joint laboratory at the China International Import Expo (CIIE) to advance low-carbon footprint material solutions and smart technologies for future mobility.
The joint lab will mainly focus on the commercialization of low-carbon material solutions in future EV models and the establishment of relevant standards, as well as the development of next-generation smart surface technologies and battery solutions. This initiative builds upon a cooperation agreement signed between the two companies at the CIIE last year.
“We’re delighted to deepen our collaboration with HiPhi,” said Dr. Markus Steilemann, CEO of Covestro, during the unveiling ceremony at Covestro’s booth at the CIIE. “We set out to address the key challenges of future mobility with the launch of the joint lab. With our common commitment to pioneering low-carbon smart mobility and by combining our strengths and resources, we believe the lab will accelerate the automotive industry’s transformation towards a smarter and climate-neutral future.”
“HiPhi aims to redefine the luxury brand in the new era. We are accelerating the adoption of intelligent and low-carbon technology in smart EVs to provide global users with a safe, efficient and sustainable travel experience, thereby changing the future of mobility and contributing to society,” said David Ding, Founder and CEO of HiPhi. “Covestro’s advanced material expertise is key to helping us achieve this vision. The establishment of our joint laboratory stems from Covestro’s recognition of the innovative strength represented by HiPhi and other Chinese companies. We also aspire to empower our global partners and foster mutually beneficial relations through the CIIE.”
On display at Covestro’s booth at the CIIE is the HiPhi Y, the latest luxury SUV that incorporates advanced polycarbonate solutions from Covestro, most notably in the headlamp and LiDAR lenses. As EV becomes increasingly smarter, the headlamp presents new opportunities in digital communication beyond lighting. On the HiPhi Y, the headlamp lenses are turned into a projector to display signs and patterns in front of the vehicle, creating an interactive interface with pedestrians and other vehicles. Covestro’s high optical performance Makrolon® AL solutions offer the needed dimensional stability, UV resistance and high transparency required for this application. In the LiDAR lenses, the Makrolon® AX portfolio demonstrates superior performance compared to glass, including excellent infrared transmittance, shaping curved surfaces and impact resistance against stone chips. They can also endure the working environment of LiDAR at temperatures from 110 to 115 degrees Celsius for extended periods.
“As the mobility industry embarks on a journey towards carbon neutrality, the demand for circular, low-carbon footprint materials is growing rapidly and will only accelerate in the near future,” said Lily Wang, President of the Engineering Plastics segment at Covestro. “We hope to collaborate with more like-minded companies, like HiPhi, to accelerate the decarbonization trend and pioneer smart technology development at the same time.”
HiPhi has been a long-term partner of Covestro since 2018. Covestro’s material solutions have been applied to HiPhi’s flagship models, such as the polycarbonate solutions that enable a “smart” B-pillar equipped with complex functions in the all-electric SUV HiPhi X. HiPhi Z, a smart sports sedan, employs polycarbonate grades for the touchpad switch on its steering wheel – enabling a futuristic interactive design – as well as high performance waterborne polyurethane adhesives for auto interiors.
For a closer look at Covestro’s solutions for a fully circular future at the CIIE, visit us at booth 3B6-05, at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai) from November 5 to 10, 2023.