Orange Is the New Electric

Color coding of electrical cables and charging components is a crucial part of ensuring safe transportation.

As there is an increasing number of electrified vehicles, there is a concomitant increase in the number of cables both under the hood and snaking throughout the vehicle that are carrying power. And lest someone be inadvertently zapped by accidentally encountering one of those lines, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE International) and the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (ZVEI) have both decided that orange is the color for high-voltage system cables, components, connectors and the like. The China Highway and Transportation Standard QC/T 1037-2016 also identifies orange as the required color for high-voltage components.
 
Specialty chemicals company Clariant (clariant.com) has developed an array of pigments for these applications, including a low-halogen option.
 
For cables it has PV Fast Orange H2GL-LHC that can be used with thermoplastic elastomers. For charging system components like connectors, which are typically made with polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) and polyamides (PA), there’s PV Fast Orange 6RL-LHC.
 
According to Jeffrey Wu, Head of RBL Greater China, BU Pigments at Clariant: “China has a strong interest in a future of electro-mobility and is investing significantly to answer the demand. Color coding of electrical cables and charging components is a crucial part of ensuring safe transportation.”
 
China has instituted an energy credit policy that has the effect of making OEMs produce a minimum amount of electric vehicles, approximately four to five percent of a company’s output by 2020.