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The Bodo Möller Chemie Group, provider of specialty chemicals and complete solutions for the industry, is collaborating with the American e-mobility startup Canoo in the development of a new electric van to be launched into the market in 2021. The vehicle is characterized by an especially innovative design and a modular concept, as a result of which it will be possible to integrate the functionality into autonomous driving in the future. The vehicle offers maximum space and accommodates an 80 kWh rechargeable battery in a supporting skateboard architecture in the vehicle floor. A very flexibly designed thermoplastic-covered steel body sits – like a top hat – on the stable frame. The Bodo Möller Chemie Group supports the startup with an extensive portfolio of materials, ranging from glass and structural bonding in the vehicle body construction all the way to adhesives in the areas of battery, control and charging technology (thermal interface management). As local contact for Canoo, the Bodo Möller Chemie branch in the U.S. provides comprehensive technical consulting services and application support for the development and production. In the marketing of the vehicle, Canoo breaks new ground: it will not be possible to buy the electrical van, only subscribe to it.

Large-scale bonding

In only 21 months, the company was able to put the first prototypes of the beta series on their wheels. The vehicle does not only break with the conventions of traditional automobile manufacturing visually, but constructively as well. The large window surfaces and body panels are bonded on a steel frame with state-of-the-art adhesives. The selection of the materials and the extensive laboratory tests performed on them were done in collaboration with Bodo Möller Chemie.

“We are pleased to be able to collaborate on such an innovative mobility concept. In addition, this shows that as a global company, we are capable of working both with established tiers and OEMs as well as with disruptive startups and entirely reimagined concepts. Tesla has already shown how quickly and successfully such projects can be developed,” says Frank Haug, CEO of the Bodo Möller Chemie Group.

An innovative battery concept and high safety

The total range of the Canoo is stated to be 400 km (about 250 mi.) and up to 80 percent of the high-performance rechargeable battery can be charged in less than 30 minutes to reach a range of more than 300 km (186 mi.). Canoo breaks new ground in electricity storage and uses the battery as an integral part of the flat skateboard frame. So far, individual cells linked to modules and then supplemented to a pack had been the norm – but this costs weight and robs energy density. With the Canoo battery, however, both the joining technology and thermal management had to be rethought in order to retain the thermal integrity of the battery and attain the needed safety level. In this context, safety is a huge priority and was already extensively tested in simulations. Canoo was founded by former top managers of the automobile industry, some of them from BMW and leading companies of the battery sector.

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