In battery-electric vehicles, the classic radiator grille can be dispensed with due to the lower cooling requirement. Hella is developing multifunctional panels for these freed-up areas.
The front represents an important design feature of vehicles. For a long time, the design of the radiator grille of a car with a classic combustion engine was an important distinguishing feature for car manufacturers. This is no longer necessary to the same extent for battery-electric vehicles. "This opens up completely new design possibilities for designers of e-vehicles", says Dr. Frank Huber, the managing director responsible for the lighting division at the internationally positioned automotive supplier Hella.
Hella now integrates radomes (front radar covers), radar sensors, lidar, cameras for driver assistance systems and the headlights into its multifunctional panels. Hella uses different manufacturing processes for this, such as injection compression molding and foil back injection. In addition, manufacturers can choose from panels in vehicle color, in homogeneous black or in chrome look. For further individualization, structures such as hexagons can be introduced into the surface of the panels using a laser. For effects at night, light exits can be illuminated, and structures and animations can also be made visible.