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Axios Discussion on Electric Vehicles Highlights Role of Plastics in Automobile Sustainability and Safety

Matthew Kastner

WASHINGTON (November 9, 2021) – Today Axios hosted a virtual event sponsored by the American Chemistry Council on “Building a Sustainable Transportation Future,” to discuss the shift to cleaner transportation and manufacturing, and to explore the policies, technologies, and materials spearheading electric vehicle (EV) deployment for a new mobility future.

In a sponsored “View from the Top” interview, Axios’ SVP of Events and Creative Strategy, Kristin Burkhalter spoke with Randy Stone, president, mobility & materials, for DuPont about innovative technologies on the horizon. Stone noted, “What I am really excited about is the end-of-life and circularity [for automobiles]… I am really pleased that ACC [American Chemistry Council] and Oak Ridge National Laboratories have entered into a five-year partnership to figure out: how do we take this really diverse set of materials… recycle them, bring them back into the material stream, so that the sustainability and end-of-life story is just as compelling as the advancements we’ve made in electric vehicles in the last ten years.” 

Plastics have enabled the auto industry to reduce its carbon footprint by light-weighting vehicles so they are more fuel efficient. Plastics now typically make up 50% of the volume of a car yet only 10% of its weight. Additionally, plastics make up essential components of EV batteries and enable multiple critical automotive safety features.

Discussing the utility of plastics in EVs, Stone said, “If we are really going to expand this adoption of EV’s, we have to make them more affordable… [Plastics] do a lot of work in battery systems, which is the component that increases the cost [of EVs]. We have a lot of materials… high performance plastics, high temperature plastics that help us… provide the safety that we need to accelerate [EV adoption].”

In addition to Burkhalter’s discussion with Randy Stone, Axios’ Transportation Correspondent Joann Muller spoke to Sen. Angus King and J.B. Straubel, former co-founder and CTO of Tesla and co-founder and CEO of Redwood Materials. To view the event recording, visit here.

American Chemistry Council

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the multibillion-dollar business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products, technologies and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health, safety and security performance through Responsible Care®; common sense advocacy addressing major public policy issues; and health and environmental research and product testing. ACC members and chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development, and are advancing products, processes and technologies to address climate change, enhance air and water quality, and progress toward a more sustainable, circular economy.

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