Challenges in the Move to Net-Zero Automotive Plastics

    The socioeconomic impacts from the earth’s changing climate, are increasing in severity and diversity. The use, production and disposal of automobiles is clearly one of the contributors to climate change. Much attention is focused on the electrification of propulsion but there are other factors undergoing potential paradigm shifts including the materials used for producing vehicles. Materials with net-zero impact on greenhouse gases are increasingly sought by the global OEMs. This report provides an unbiased assessment of the status and prospects towards this goal.

    Each one of the major OEMs is setting net-zero vehicle material use goals. Understanding and properly comparing the various OEM targets is complex but crucial for the supply base as it attempts to cost-effectively enable the OEMs in their objectives. This report provides a solid foundation not only for the current situation in the move towards net-zero materials but also Voice of the Customer (OEM) as to industry direction. Key questions arise such as:

    • How is net-zero defined and how does this definition vary among the OEMs?
    • If sustainable materials cost more, how will they be implemented?
    • How will vehicle systems, components and designs change and adapt to the use of net-zero materials?
    • What would be the best life-cycle analysis method to use, given the proliferation of options? What do the various OEMs accept?
    • Will there be a sustainable financial future for suppliers of environmentally sustainable materials?
    • How will net-zero material technologies evolve for both mechanical and chemical recycling? Will there be a financially viable future for traditional resin suppliers?
    • A number of small-scale examples are appearing in the marketplace where carbon dioxide is used as a key raw material for polymer production. Is this approach viable in the long term?
    • Will regulations drive the use of net-zero materials? When, where and how?

    The ITB Group is proposing this new report on net-zero plastics so as to attempt to answer the above questions.

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