Question: How will the market develop in this area over the next 5-10 years?
Michael Zobel: We can already see today how the regulatory efforts in the industrialized countries have resulted in an unbelievable dynamic. In addition to the established manufacturers of motor vehicles and their suppliers, we are observing how a whole series of very innovative start-ups are establishing themselves around these topics. A whole new scene of young companies is emerging here, working on exciting solutions to many New Mobility issues on all continents.
We believe that this dynamic will continue. The politicians have formulated very challenging framework conditions here, to which the OEMs have now adjusted and are now rebuilding development and production at great expense. A large number of new developments will be seen on this path in the coming years.
Question: What contribution can LANXESS make to New Mobility/e-Mobility?
Michael Zobel: Thanks to our many years of experience in the areas of lightweight construction materials and electronic and electrical engineering applications, we can develop our materials to precisely meet customer requirements. That’s what benefits us today in New Mobility. We already have materials in our portfolio that meet many essential requirements. From increased thermal conductivity to flame retardancy for parts subject to high thermal stress. Or take the hybrid vehicles. These have hardly any installation space available, as they also have assemblies for the electric drive in addition to the classic combustion engine. The important thing here is to make optimum use of this space and integrate functions. We know our way around in this area. Here, our engineers can provide assistance in designing the components in such a way that all requirements can be met.
Question: What is LANXESS doing to stay ahead in this dynamic environment?
Michael Zobel: We made contact with the main players in the three fields of New Mobility described above at an early stage. We learned a lot from these discussions, not only about the changed demands placed on plastics, but also about where the thoughts and developments are going. Here we did not stop at our direct customers, but went through the entire value chain. From these discussions, a large number of projects have now developed which we are jointly leading to series production. This is not a one-off process, but we remain in regular contact. All in all, this has led to a very comprehensive and detailed understanding of our customers’ requirements for our materials, with which we are now well equipped to actively accompany further development.