Covestro and KURZ join forces to design a more sustainable EV wallbox charger

Demonstrating the potential of our more sustainable Makrolon® RE and Makrofol® materials to power the electromobility revolution, Covestro joined forces with leaders in thin film technology LEONHARD KURZ to envision the next generation of wallbox chargers for electric vehicles (EVs).
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An EV charger that combines design, functionality, and a low CO2 footprint

The new wallbox design demonstrator uses Covestro’s Makrolon® RE and Makrofol® materials in combination with design technologies from LEONHARD KURZ. The results of this collaboration are presented for the first time to the public at K 2022.

The wallbox design demonstrator is the debut electromobility application for the new, more sustainable Makrolon® RE polycarbonates. Equipped with a display, backlighting, and touch controls, the wallbox offers a wide range of design possibilities to power the future of electromobility.

The wallbox charger of tomorrow will no longer be purely functional but will become a true design feature – visually appealing and with a range of smart capabilities. In addition, it will be designed to be produced in an efficient and resource-saving manner, leading to improvements in sustainability.

Martin Hahn

Head of Application, Technology & Innovation in Plastic Decoration, LEONHARD KURZ

Makrolon® and Makrofol® unlock powerful design potential

Representing enhanced versatility both in terms of design and functionality, the wallbox design demonstrator offers a range of possibilities for technology integration.

Thanks to their superior performance qualities, transparent Makrolon® RE polycarbonate and Makrofol® films are well-suited to backlight and sensor integration. They are also compatible with in-mold decoration (IMD), film insert molding (FIM), and hot stamping production processes.
Using the latest technologies from KURZ, Covestro materials enable a streamlined manufacturing process and unlock an advanced array of functional and design possibilities, including the following:

  • Glass-like appearance
  • Light effects and light integration to illustrate charging progress
  • Various color options
  • Sensor-transparent materials
  • Touch functionality/capacitive sliding (Poly-IC slider combined with Makrofol® and Makrolon®)
  • Improved scratch, chemical, and UV resistance thanks to front IMD coating, suitable for outdoor environments
  • Logo embossing via hot stamping.

Flame retardant, weather resistant, and more sustainable EV charging technology

The following grades of Covestro materials are used in the wallbox design demonstrator: Makrolon® RE, Makrofol® DE, and Makrofol® LM.

Using these materials has the potential to significantly reduce the carbon footprint caused by the production of EV chargers worldwide. This is thanks to the following Covestro material innovations:

  • ISCC PLUS-certified Makrolon® RE, derived from mass balanced biowaste and other residual materials
  • Thermoplastic Makrofol® polycarbonate films, certified to global EVSE standards, as well as meeting UL 94 5VA (flame retardance) and UL f1 (UV and water resistance) standards.

The circular properties of these materials also mean that the wallbox is recyclable. And thanks to KURZ’s thin-film technology, decorations added to the wallbox have no impact on the recyclability of its components.

To achieve this, the manufacturing process uses a unique combination of resource-saving in-mold decoration (IMD) and film insert molding (FIM). This means the injection molding process and the decoration process are combined into a single highly efficient work step, saving time, energy, costs, and CO2 emissions.

The wallbox design demonstrator illustrates a unique fusion of design, sustainability, and innovative technologies for stylish wallbox chargers. This combination enables a high level of individualization and design flexibility, as well as enhanced sustainability credentials.

Niklas Meine

Marketing Segment Manager for Electrical & Electronics EMEA, Covestro

Innovative wallbox design demonstrator points to the future of EV chargers

With a range of features to power the next generation of EV wallbox chargers, the wallbox design demonstrator is a clear step forward in the evolution of lower-impact electromobility design.

The wallbox also anticipates a renewable electricity future with its bidirectional charging capabilities. This gives it the power to switch between charging the vehicle via a home solar system and supplying the electricity grid from the vehicle’s charged battery (V2G).

With all these features, the wallbox design demonstrator confirms why using Makrolon® RE and Makrofol® is a forward-looking choice for producing EV charging applications.

Key Benefits

  • Low-impact materials: Makrolon® RE is ISCC PLUS certified renewable and components are recyclable.
  • Efficient production: Made using in-mold decoration (IMD), film insert molding (FIM), and hot stamping.
  • Fully customizable: Countless design variations are possible in one production step.
  • Versatile: Transparent Covestro films for backlight and sensor integration.
  • High-tech features: Display, backlighting, and touch sensor elements in one sleek unit.

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