Dual Tracks to Automotive Lightweighting

In this video, John McElroy (the host of Autoline Daily) offers his views on the future of plastics in the automotive industry. The industry as a whole, he says, will likely follow two different tracks, with individual automakers opting for different approaches. The first track, represented by cars like the BMW i3, is an all-in approach – virtually the entire car is made of lightweight materials including a carbon fiber-reinforced plastic Body in White (BIW). Alternatively, other automakers have and will continue to opt for an incremental approach, changing parts bits and pieces at a time, applied, most likely, to mass-produced large production runs of hundreds of thousands of a model.

McElroy also touches upon the different requirements and opportunities created by the move toward electric cars, including the increased need for lightweighting and the return on investment that will come from reducing the number and/or size of heavy batteries each vehicle needs to maintain a viable range. Automobile lightweighting with plastic car parts can benefit consumers and the environment, but turns out it’s actually a sound investment for automakers, too!

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