Following the production of first prototypes of battery enclosures for a Chinese automotive manufacturer in 2018, SGL Carbon has now received a substantial contract from a North-American automaker for high-volume serial production of carbon and glass fiber-based composite top and bottom layers for battery enclosures. The serial production of the components will start end of 2020. The carbon fibers and fabrics as well as the assembled components come from SGL Carbon’s fully integrated value chain. On top of this order, there is the potential for more significant extensions with further substantial volumes for the shared platform business of the manufacturer.
In addition, SGL Carbon has won a smaller volume contract from a European sports car manufacturer to serially produce bottom layers made of composite as of mid-2020. The company is additionally in talks with further automakers to develop and manufacture battery enclosure solutions for their e-car platforms.
“Driven by the increasing need for e-cars worldwide and thus for new flexible chassis platforms, our composite battery enclosures are a very promising new application in our product portfolio. The recent contract wins show that our approach of developing custom-made solutions based on our integrated value chain offers an excellent value proposition”, says Sebastian Grasser, Head of Automotive Segment at the business unit Composites – Fibers & Materials at SGL Carbon.
One key part of any e-car chassis platform is the enclosure of the battery which usually occupies most of the space in the underfloor of the chassis and has various very specific requirements far beyond low weight. The battery cases also need to be very stiff to support driving dynamics. In addition, the material has to protect the underbody against impact, enable an optimized thermal management and offer excellent fire protection as well as complete water and gas impermeability. All these requirements are met by composites much better than by any other material. With these advantages, composite battery enclosures perfectly fit to e-car-specific and highly flexible chassis variants, so-called “skateboard” platforms, to be used as a basis for a great variety of different e-car models.