More than a third of the fuel consumption in a fossil fuel-powered vehicle is dependent on mass, according to OEM data. Today, DuPont Automotive estimates that plastics under the hood account for about 16 percent of a vehicle's weight, on the way to 25 percent over the next five years.
"Plastics and composites will continue to be 'go-to' materials to reduce weight in engines, transmissions, drivelines and chassis," said Day. "While plastics have replaced metals in many applications, there are still opportunities as the range of high heat, chemical- and moisture-resistant materials have grown exponentially during the past few years."
DuPont last year launched more than 1,700 new products and invested 22 percent of its $1.7 billion R&D budget on developing new chemistry and materials to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
"We are heading in the right direction, but still the portfolio needs to be augmented to meet next-generation lightweighting challenges," Day said. He was referring to an August survey conducted with WardsAuto where only 25 percent of more than 1,000 vehicle engineers polled said they are confident or very confident they can meet CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) standards with the existing materials portfolio.
Stepping up to the challenge, DuPont this year invested in new collaboration centers in India, Korea and China to complement the existing facilities in North and South America, Europe and Japan. "This is exactly the right time to bring our science-powered innovation closer to the market and provide the critical connections that can link the value chain globally in ways that help advance materials," said Day.
DuPont offers more than 100 materials and product families for the global automotive industry. Through its global application development network, DuPont Automotive is committed to collaborating with customers throughout the value chain to develop new products, materials, components and systems that help reduce dependence on fossil fuels and protect people and the environment. For more information, visit automotive.dupont.com.
DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit http://www.dupont.com.