Today’s cars are comprised of about 50 percent plastics by volume. (Look around the next time you’re in a car. Most everything you can touch is made with plastics.) BUT because plastics are typically lighter than other materials, plastics comprise only ten percent of today’s cars by weight.
Why is this important? Listen to Ford: “Few innovations provide a more wide-ranging performance and efficiency advantage than reducing weight. All factors of a vehicle’s capabilities—acceleration, handling, braking, safety, efficiency—can improve through the use of advanced, lighter materials.”
Ford has announced plans to make auto parts using plastics made in part from captured carbon dioxide waste streams. Ford says the CO2 will be used as a feedstock to make foam plastics for use in seat cushions, seat backs, floor mats, and other components such as side paneling and consoles.
This article points out an important part of vehicle interiors today and that is the use of plastic. While many manufacturers are doing their research on new alternative materials to use in their vehicles, building torwards a more sustainabe future, it is hard to ignore the fact that plastics are still the most readily available material used in car interiors today. I think it’s totally ok to look at what we have and find ways to make it new and part of this sustainable future. This refers specifically to Ford’s research and implementation of plastics developed from captured carbon dioxide waste, which is a creative solition to an already existing application of a material.
Published on May 24, 2017 Article updated on November 2. “The Future of Our Vehicles: ‘Advanced, Lighter Materials.’” Plastics Make It Possible, 2 Nov. 2017, https://www.plasticsmakeitpossible.com/whats-new-cool/automotive/auto-bodies-parts/future-vehicles-advanced-lighter-materials/.