On the road to zero emissions

Meeting the extreme needs of 21st century mobility

The road to connected cars

In just a few years’ time we’ll consider today’s vehicles to be dinosaurs: relatively unintelligent, heavy and clunky beasts, and with an unfortunate tendency to belch out greenhouse gases.

Tomorrow? A new generation of connected, autonomous cars based on ingenious technology will not only transform your driving experience, it will drastically reduce the vehicle’s carbon footprint - by reducing its weight and engine friction, for example.


In fact, we don’t need to wait for tomorrow - because smart materials from DSM are already doing much of this for automotive manufacturers today.

A new generation of vehicles

DSM's engineering plastics can be found in some 90% of all the world’s cars - from braking systems and air bags (120 million units without a failure), to the chassis, engines, interiors, exteriors and steering & suspension systems.

Replacing just one metal automotive component (the air intake manifold) with a smart plastic like Stanyl Diablo® can reduce CO2 emissions by 1 gram for every 10 km driven.

And this huge environmental saving increases tenfold when manufacturers use Stanyl® for components to reduce engine friction - and thus heat - under the hood.

We’re helping to take the carbon out of the car, but the next generation of vehicles presents an even greater challenge: because as the era of the internal combustion engine comes to an end, tomorrow’s ‘smart’ cars will be based more on modern mobile phone design than traditional automotive engineering.

It’s fortunate for society therefore that while our materials feature in most cars, they are found in 100% of the world’s mobile devices…

Reducing weight, heat…and carbon emissions

At DSM we’ve aligned our strategy specifically with five of the UN Sustainable Development Goals agreed in 2016. Taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts (SDG 13).

It’s no exaggeration to say that electrified, connected cars could be our best long-term way of achieving it.

Take ‘thinovation’ - the trend for creating smaller, lighter, greener and safer working parts in electronic devices. Today at DSM our materials are used to create components like the tiny connectors that give mobile phones their incredible functionality.

Tomorrow these same materials (and their descendants) will do a similar job in a car as we discover smart new ways to integrate electronics into plastic materials.

For example what if sophisticated electronic devices could be integrated into super-safe and pliable plastics (like our Fortii® material) in the dashboard?

Science & Innovation

The road to zero emissions in the engine started nearly a decade ago. Our research teams spent many studying the effects of wear and friction on plastics in order to develop special material types with high abrasion resistance and low friction in the extreme heat of the engine. The friction benefit meant that we could save 1 gram of CO2 for every km driven, not only meeting the commercial needs of our customers by avoiding huge emission fines - but tackling the biggest imperative of all in climate change.

The future

Meeting the extreme demands of next-generation cars requires designers to re-think and re-imagine what’s possible as we see two entirely different industries (automotive and electronics) converge.

Thanks to our knowledge and experience of both worlds, the DSM team is now connecting with partners old and new across the globe to create something truly remarkable.

Brighter Living… (journey)

We’re getting closer to a day when instead of us driving the car…the car drives us; and a day when instead of consuming power and emitting carbon, our vehicles actually generate clean energy (through solar battery power, for example). The blueprints are being created right now. Materials from DSM will make it happen.

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