15th April 2016
BAIC BJEV, a leading new energy automaker in China, signed a strategic cooperation agreement for Sino-German Automotive Light Weighting Technology Joint R&D Center with Dresden University of Technology (TUD) in the Council Chamber of the state of Sachsen. Wan Gang, Vice Chairman of the CPPCC and Minister of Science and Technology of China, and Tillich, Governor of Sachsen, Germany, witnessed the significant moment.
Mr. Xu Heyi, Chairman of the Board, BAIC Group, said during the conversation before the ceremony, “At BAIC Group, we are pleased to work with Academician Hufenbach’s team in the lightweighting field. As his team is the world’s leading one in lightweighting and BAIC BJEV is China’s most powerful and promising new energy automobile company, the collaboration between us isset to deliver innovations that drive the global technological progress in the new energy automobile area and the industrialization of lightweighting technologies.”
Minister Wan Gang noted that electric, smart, and lightweight cars represent the three main directions to future of automobiles. He expressed his hope that the cooperation between BAIC BJEV and TUD will establish benchmarks for the industry. The minister also stressed that Sino-German cooperation in light-weighting should be future-oriented, and academic institutions and enterprises of the two countries go beyond joint production to embrace joint innovation, make good use of their resources, and cultivate young professionals.
According to large amounts of data, light weighting is one of the core technologies for the whole auto industry, especially for new energy cars, as well as the only road to energy conservation and emission reduction for every country in the world. It is also the key expertise for all major automakers to gain competitive advantages, and has become the focal point of the next wave of technological competition in the new energy auto industry.
TUD and Academician Hufenbach’s team, as long-term partners of such world-renowned automakers as BMW, VW, and Porsche, and the aero-engine maker Rolls-Royce, are the global leaders in the light-weighting segment. The team, with its specialized test validation centers for aviation and automotive composite materials, has undertaken a number of light-weighting R&D programs well known in the industry. In addition, it also owns world-leading techniques in light-weight materials, and their construction and manufacturing. They boast rich and brilliant R&D experience and outcomes, especially in light-weight new energy cars made of carbon fiber composite and multi-materials.
Aligned to the Thirteenth Five Year Plan (13th FYP) of the Chinese government, BAIC BJEV is increasing investment in new efforts. For example, Sino-German Light Weighting R&D Center will become the company’s fifth oversea one of its kind. Before that, BAIC BJEV has begun to build its global R&D network in its core areas, i.e. electric and smart technologies, by establishing oversea R&D centers in Silicon Valley, USA; Aachen, Germany; Detroit, USA; and Barcelona, Spain. Meanwhile, light-weighting has already been regarded as a core strategic technology as important as those for electrification and intelligentization, which was designated as one of the company’s key objectives in technological breakthroughs in 13th FYP.
Thanks to its comprehensive strategic arrangement, BAIC BJEV has already made constant breakthroughs in light-weighting of carbon, aluminum and high-strength steel materials as well as construction, in addition to the foundation it has laid for core light-weighting technologies. Pure electric cars that the company introduced, including EV200 at the A0 Class and EU260 at the A Class, have great weight advantages over its competitors. The pure electric supercar created by the company, which will be showcased in Auto China 2016, will make BAIC BJEV the first complete new energy automobile manufacturer in China that owns the techniques for aluminum alloy body-on-frame and auto body panels made of composite materials.
Reportedly, under the agreement the two sides will jointly develop finished cars made of lightweight multi-materials, using new lightweight design and material application techniques. BAIC BJEV will exert its influence across the country as the cooperation hub. The key projects of their cooperation will employ integrated development technologies to build lightweight pure electric cars, based on a light-weighting platform named MMSF (Multi-Material Space Frame). Thanks to the carbon & aluminum MMSF bodies and non-metal panels, the body weight will be reduced by up to 45%. The first production car model based on the platform will be unveiled at Auto China 2016 in April.
The MMSF platform features technical concepts similar to those of InEco, an ultra-light pure electric car made of multi-materials designed by Academician Hufenbach, which means the two can be combined to complement each other. With the professor’s know-how for carbon composite car parts and multi-material pure electric cars, the development of the platform can be boosted.
At that time, the Sino-German cooperation in light-weighting, led by BAIC BJEV, will bring the advanced light-weighting technologies to China and demonstrate their potential to the Chinese automotive industry. That will propel the fast development of light-weighting technologies in the new energy automotive industry in China, providing better and more environmental-friendly new energy cars and mobility solutions for the people in China and the world at large.