By Cameron Chai
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have proposed to set higher greenhouse gas pollution and fuel economy standards for the vehicles to be produced in 2017-2025. Fuel economy standards of 54.5 mpg have been proposed for vehicles such as trucks and cars.
The Global Technical Director of DuPont Automotive, David Glasscock, stated that the company’s collaboration with automakers will help achieve the proposed standards. The industry was focused at addressing the consumer demand regarding the performance of the vehicles and also at improving the fuel economy through materials science, he added.
A number of fuel-saving programs are currently being undertaken. The chemistry of batteries and superior battery separator materials are being developed to improve battery performance for vehicles. Another program for improving the efficiency of vehicles includes development of high-performance materials for reducing friction between moving parts and lowering the rolling resistance that occurs in vehicle tyres.
The industry is also continuing to improve high-performance composites and plastics for replacement of metals, which will lead to reduction in vehicular weight.
Glasscock further stated that the completion of the programs will aid automobile manufacturers to meet the new standards. Increasing collaboration in the value chain will help in getting cost-effective ideas to the market and finally lead to lower dependence on fossil-derived fuels.
DuPont already has collaboration centres in Europe, North America and Japan, and in 2011, the company has made investments in new collaboration centres in India, China and Korea. In 2010, the company had an R&D budget of $1.7 billion, of which it invested 22% in efforts to reduce fossil fuel dependency through development of new materials and chemistry. DuPont Automotive is collaborating with its customers through the company’s global application development network in efforts to reduce dependency on fossil fuel and safe guard the environment and the people.