Osnabruck, Germany – Mennekes, an industrial plug and socket maker is using a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) to increase the life of cables and connectors used to charge electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
Mennekes is using Huntsman's Irogran TPU to make the protective caps which fit on the connector end of type 2 charging cables, said Huntsman in a press release.
The end caps are designed to protect the ends of the cables from dirt and moisture when they are not being used. Irogran was specified because it offers high abrasion resistance and is flexible over temperatures ranging from an arctic winter to a Mediterranean summer, said Huntsman. The firm adds that the grade of Irogran specified will not leave marks on the cars' paintwork.
The market for electric cars is growing rapidly with many leading automotive brands now offering plug-powered and hybrid vehicles. There could be sales of 1.1m units/year by 2015, according to the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA).
The IEA predicts sales of 6.9 m units/year by 2020; and 106 m units/year by 2050.