Lightweight, Durable Plastics Needed to Reach Goals, Drive Down Greenhouse Gas Emissions
WASHINGTON (August 6, 2021) – America’s Plastic Makers today welcomed President Biden’s Executive Order that sets a target to make half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 zero-emission vehicles, including battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, or fuel cell electric vehicles. The Executive Order also effectively kicks off a process to revamp fuel efficiency and emission standards.
Both initiatives are supported by automakers and will expand opportunities for lightweight, durable plastics to contribute to vehicle lightweighting and the advanced technologies that will help drive down greenhouse gas and other emissions.
“We look forward to strengthening our partnership with America’s automakers and helping build out the nation’s electric fleet and infrastructure that will drive down greenhouse gas emissions, save money at the pump and create highly skilled, good paying U.S. jobs,” said Joshua Baca, vice president for plastics at the American Chemistry Council.
“And we’re pleased that President Biden’s Executive Order calls for ‘expansion of the full domestic manufacturing supply chain,’ which includes the companies that create the modern plastics that will play an essential role in enabling electric vehicles.”
Plastics already make up about 50% of today’s cars by volume. Lightweight, innovative polymer solutions will help automakers further reduce vehicle emissions, improve fuel economy and battery range, and support U.S. leadership in advanced mobility and materials manufacturing. Electric and hybrid electric vehicle batteries – which typically comprise about a third of vehicle mass – will continue to shed weight to improve range with help from lightweight plastic battery packs, including housings, closures, connectors and enclosures.
In addition, modern plastics will be critically important to creating the infrastructure to support zero emissions vehicles. Charging and hydrogen refueling stations made with plastics and composites are impact and corrosion resistant, help prevent tampering, provide electrical insulation safety and can withstand many extreme weather conditions.
To develop these modern materials, plastic makers invest heavily in ongoing research and development, enabling advances such as composite aircraft, space travel, smart food packaging... and lightweight, durable auto components. These companies support close to 635,000 well-paying jobs throughout the country.