With the participation of AIMPLAS, the LIGHTCAR project, funded by the Valencian Innovation Agency (AVI), is developing new composite materials with improved eco-friendly properties that will reduce the weight of electric vehicle batteries by 50%-70%.
The automotive industry is facing the challenge of environmental sustainability by reducing CO2 emissions in response to legislation and the demands of society, which call for heightened environmental awareness from companies.
Weight reduction in electric vehicles is one of the keys to making emission reductions a reality. Lighter vehicles require less energy to run so their range is increased compared to heavier vehicles with the same batteries. The industry, therefore, aims to replace metal parts with new composite materials that help reduce battery weight by 50%-70%.
Working in this direction is the LIGHTCAR Project, which is coordinated by Industrias Alegre and boasts the participation of other companies and centres, namely ITERA Soluciones de Ingeniería, Sinfiny Smart Technologies and AIMPLAS, the Plastics Technology Centre. Funded by the Valencian Innovation Agency (AVI), the project is developing new long-fibre thermoplastic composites that provide advantages such as lightness, impact resistance and rigidity, as well as good recyclability and processability using conventional, efficient manufacturing methods with low waste generation.
For processing, the project will also design a flexible, high-speed production cell for the manufacture of parts in which electronic components can be fitted.
The LIGHTCAR Project is funded within the framework of the Programme of Strategic Cooperation Projects, co-funded by EU ERDF funds within the ERDF Operational Programme of the Valencian Community 2014-2020, announced in Resolution of 14 January 2021 by the executive vice-president of the Valencian Innovation Agency (AVI), and aimed at strengthening and developing the Valencian Innovation System to improve the production model for financial years 2021 to 2023.
At AIMPLAS, we help companies apply circular economy criteria to their business models and turn the legislative changes that affect the plastics industry into opportunities to improve company efficiency, reduce environmental impact and increase profitability. AIMPLAS also does research in areas such as recycling, biodegradable materials and products, and the use of biomass and CO2 with the aim of developing innovative solutions that help solve current environmental challenges.