SABIC, a global leader in the chemical industry, introduced BLUEHERO, an expanding ecosystem of materials, solutions, expertise and programs aimed to help accelerate the world's energy transition to electric power and support meeting global goals on climate change. The company's starting point with BLUEHERO is support of the automotive industry's mission to create better, safer and more efficient electric vehicles (EVs), with an emphasis on improving structural battery components with unique flame retardant materials and solution development expertise.
The automotive industry is leading the charge in moving toward new, more sustainable mobility systems. This includes a major shift towards battery powered EVs, which can convert over 77 percent of electricity into movement compared to only 12 to 30% for vehicles with internal combustion engines. In addition to this high performance, EVs also emit no tailpipe pollutants and are typically responsible for significantly fewer greenhouse gas emissions during operation – enabling important contributions to meeting global goals on climate change.
"With our strategic BLUEHERO initiative, we have vigorously committed to invest in, develop and deliver material solutions that can support the transition to electric power, drive down emissions and help address climate change," said Abdulrahman Al-Fageeh, SABIC's executive vice president for Polymers. "Our decision to initially focus on automotive reflects the urgency of making progress in that space and the strengths we already have with established materials and capabilities that can allow us to support the shift to electric vehicles and contribute to a low carbon future. With BLUEHERO, aligned with our purpose of delivering 'Chemistry that Matters™' and shaping a more sustainable future, we are bolstering our position to develop and deliver impactful solutions that the industry requires to collectively and heroically move us ever closer to a clean air economy."
SABIC provides cost-effective and technologically advanced thermoplastics – which can offer significant advantages over conventional materials (metals) – to help the automotive industry further enhance the performance of EVs. For example, using plastics in EV battery, electrical and charging components can deliver multiple benefits: reduced weight and system complexity, extended driving range, expanded design freedom, streamlined manufacturability, recyclability, and enhanced thermal management and occupant safety.
SABIC's new BLUEHERO electrification initiative also leverages specific knowledge and expertise around large part molding, compression molding, advanced injection molding and polymer flame interaction to help support customers with solutions that can meet critical requirements and enable efficient production.
The company expects to strengthen and expand its thermoplastic offering to help enable electrification with the elevated focus and new investments that will become available under BLUEHERO.
"Transitioning from vehicles based on internal combustion engines to electric propulsion is not a simple, linear process," said Abdullah S. Al-Otaibi, general manager, ETP & Market Solutions, SABIC. "In fact, a successful shift will require a willingness to forgo many traditional materials and deep-rooted design, engineering and manufacturing methods. Through the BLUEHERO initiative, our team is following a holistic systems engineering approach in their work with the industry – enabling customers to optimize EV battery systems more efficiently using thermoplastics."
An integral element of SABIC's BLUEHERO ecosystem is its global team of engineers, research fellows and scientists. This team is harnessing its established and growing expertise in design, testing and data generation for EV batteries and related applications to problem solve and overcome current limitations. As part of its work, the team collaborates with customers, development partners and others across the value chain, from OEMs and tiers to tooling suppliers and testing agencies.
With promising opportunities for the world to employ electric technologies, SABIC anticipates expanding the focus and scope of its BLUEHERO initiative to help support efforts in additional sectors. Those could potentially include energy storage, charging infrastructure, other modes of transport and industrial and consumer equipment.