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BAIC BJEV in strategic cooperation with Dresden University of Technology for lightweighting technology

Beijing Electric Vehicle Co., Ltd. (BAIC BJEV), a subsidiary of BAIC, signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Dresden University of Technology (TUD) to create the Sino-German Automotive Light Weighting Technology Joint R&D Center. The two also entered into a letter of intent on the establishment of Sino-German Automotive Light Weighting Technology Engineering Center Co., Ltd. TUD Distinguished Senior Professor Werner Hufenbach was named chief scientist in lightweight technology for BAIC BJEV.

The Sino-German Light Weighting R&D Center will become the company’s fifth overseas R&D center. BAIC BJEV has been building 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. (Earlier post.)

Under the new agreement, the two sides will jointly develop finished cars made of lightweight multi-materials, using new lightweight design and material application techniques.

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). Using the carbon and aluminum MMSF bodies and non-metal panels, 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 Professor Hufenbach.

At BAIC Group, we are pleased to work with Academician Hufenbach's team in the lightweighting field. 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.

—Xu Heyi, Chairman of the Board, BAIC Group

TUD and Professor Hufenbach’s team, as long-term partners of automakers as BMW, VW, and Porsche, and aero-engine maker Rolls-Royce, are global leaders in the light-weighting segment. The team has specialized test validation centers for aviation and automotive composite materials, and also has IP in light-weight materials, and their construction and manufacturing.

BAIC BJEV has already progressed with the 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 the EV200 (A0 Class) and the EU260 (A Class), have weight advantages over their competitors. A 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.

At the signing ceremony, Wan Gang, Vice Chairman of the CPPCC (Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference) and Minister of Science and Technology of China 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.


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