Innovative technologies contribute to increasing automotive energy efficiency
Submitted by: BASF Corporation
Posted: Sep 08, 2011 – 06:20 PM EST
LUDWIGSHAFEN, Germany, Sep. 08 /CSRwire/ - Daimler and BASF have developed a new concept vehicle that combines both companies' ideas for holistic electric mobility. The resulting vehicle is the smart forvision, which has been developed with a special emphasis on energy efficiency, temperature management and lightweight design. The smart forvision will have its world premiere at the 64th International Motor Show in Frankfurt.
Both Daimler and BASF are engaged in wide-ranging research and development work aimed at getting electric cars on the road and ensuring that electric mobility becomes part of everyday life as soon as possible. Daimler is embracing the age of electric mobility: it is the first car manufacturer to have released four electric production models, and its smart fortwo electric drive is a pioneer among battery-driven vehicles. BASF, the world's largest supplier of chemical products to the automotive industry, develops sustainable, environmentally friendly solutions for the energy-efficient mobility of tomorrow. The two companies have now combined their technological competencies for the first time, developing a forward-looking vehicle concept that offers decisive solutions to the challenges of the future. The new vehicle brings design, lifestyle and technology together to form a new functional whole.
"In this joint project with Daimler we have successfully developed a holistic approach to urban mobility of the future. This is something we are very proud of. Our research activities make an important contribution to ensuring that electric cars are affordable, environmentally friendly and sustainable," says Dr. Andreas Kreimeyer, member of the Board of Executive Directors and Research Executive Director of BASF SE.
"The smart forvision is an impressive example of what can be achieved when two leading companies from two very different sectors sit down together. It was exciting to see how our developers and designers worked with the researchers at BASF and came up with a joint vehicle concept that provides a meaningful insight into the future of electric mobility," says Dr. Thomas Weber, Daimler AG board member responsible for Group Research and Development at Mercedes-Benz Cars.
Because it has always set itself apart from other vehicle concepts, the smart was predestined for this joint project. As a result, the smart forvision is the perfect vehicle for showcasing new technologies. The researchers and developers have succeeded in combining no less than five automotive world premieres in the new concept vehicle. Transparent organic solar cells, transparent organic light-emitting diodes, all-plastic wheels, new lightweight body components and infrared-reflective films and coatings all help to reduce the vehicle's energy consumption and so increase its range and practicality.
State-of-the-art materials and technologies allow new concepts to be implemented in the electric car that not only save energy, but even generate it. The resulting increase in range contributes to further improving the performance and economy of electric vehicles. The smart forvision features energy-efficient solutions such as power-generating solar cells based on organic-chemical dyes on the roof. Combined together with energy-saving organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), the vehicle's roof, which is covered in solar cells, is not just environmentally friendly, but a real design highlight as well.
One challenge in ensuring the continuing development of electric mobility is sustainably producing and using the power required to drive the cars. Electric mobility is at its most effective in preventing climate change and protecting the environment when the energy required for it is generate highly efficiently and with minimal CO2 emissions. For this reason BASF is also working on solutions for producing electricity from renewable energies, such as wind and solar power.
Multifunctional lightweight design
The lighter an electric vehicle is, the less drive energy it requires, and the greater its range will be. Making vehicles lighter will therefore be one of the key challenges for electric mobility in the future, and BASF can make an important contribution here. Lightweight design means replacing heavy, metal components with composite plastic materials that offer the same functionality and stability. Weight can be reduced particularly successfully by substituting load-bearing components, for example the chassis, with fiber-reinforced plastics. Moreover, the smart forvision features the first ever all-plastic wheels suitable for series production, made from the new high-performance material Ultramid® Structure developed by BASF. This material, which is just as stable as metal, can reduce weight by up to 30 percent.
Comprehensive temperature management
The heating and air conditioning systems in vehicles are major consumers of energy. The amount of energy needed to heat up or cool down the vehicle's interior can be reduced with the help of a comprehensive temperature management system that uses innovative materials such as polymer films in the windows to reflect thermal radiation, and high-performance insulating materials.
The smart forvision brings together these forward-looking technologies from the chemical industry with a unique mobility concept and distinctive design. Together, the automotive and chemical industries are making a significant contribution to the affordability, environmental friendliness and safety of electric vehicles. In the smart forvision, Daimler and BASF have laid the perfect foundations for efficient, sustainable, uncompromising electric mobility.
BASF is the world's leading chemical company: Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and agricultural products to oil and gas. As the world's largest supplier of chemical products to the automotive industry, BASF is a reliable, competent partner to the industry throughout the value chain, for automotive manufacturers and suppliers and in customer service. BASF offers a wide range of products for use in the automotive industry, from technical plastics, polyurethane and special foams, styrene plastics, paints and fuel additives to catalysts, pigments, coolants and brake fluids, and chemicals for leather and textiles. BASF posted sales of approximately €63.9 billion in 2010 and had approximately 109,000 employees as of the end of the year. BASF is listed on the stock markets in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN). More information about BASF is available online at www.basf.com and in the Social Media Newsroom at newsroom.basf.com.
The company's founders, Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz, made history with the invention of the automobile in the year 1886. 125 years later, in the anniversary year 2011, Daimler AG is one of the world's most successful automotive companies. With its divisions Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler Trucks, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Daimler Buses and Daimler Financial Services, the Daimler Group is one of the biggest producers of premium cars and the world's biggest manufacturer of commercial vehicles with a global reach. Daimler Financial Services provides its customers with a full range of automotive financial services including financing, leasing, insurance and fleet management. As an automotive pioneer, Daimler continues to shape the future of mobility: the Group applies innovative and green technologies to produce safe and superior vehicles which fascinate and delight its customers. With the development of alternative drive systems, Daimler is the only vehicle producer investing in hybrid drive, electric motors and fuel-cell systems, with the goal of achieving emission-free mobility in the long term. This is just one example of how Daimler willingly accepts the challenge of meeting its responsibility towards society and the environment. Daimler sells its products in nearly all the countries of the world and has production facilities on five continents. Its current brand portfolio includes, in addition to the world's most valuable automotive brand, Mercedes-Benz, the brands smart, Maybach, Freightliner, Western Star, BharatBenz, Fuso, Setra, Orion and Thomas Built Buses. The company is listed on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt and Stuttgart (stock exchange abbreviation DAI). In 2010, the Group sold 1.9 million vehicles and employed a workforce of over 260,000 people; revenue totalled €97.8 billion and EBIT amounted to €7.3 billion. Further information from Daimler is available on the internet: www.media.daimler.com and www.daimler.com.