Although attracted initially by environmental benefits, car makers and their suppliers are also asking what added functionality they can get from non-compostable, bio-based materials. One advantage is of course lighter, more cost-effective vehicles. A rule-of-thumb is that 5% less weight means average fuel savings of 3%, according to industry association Plastics Europe.
However, weight advantages are not assured. Some ‘classic’ bioplastics such as polylactic acid (PLA) have a higher density than their petroleum-based counterparts, the Belgium-based European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) told European Plastics News.
Tags: soy-based, plant derived, lightweiht, cost-efficient, seat foams, natural fibre-reinforced
European Plastics News, 2012-07-31.