With automotive regulations governing fuel economy and CO2 emissions being discussed in the US and Europe, nearly half of automotive engineers predict those regulations will strengthen, according to a WardsAuto and DuPont survey.
Only 8 percent predict regulations will relax, primarily due to economic and cost issues, and one-fourth expect no change, the results show (see chart).
DuPont says the survey results also show the increasing value for lightweighting vehicles, and that every system in the vehicle is a candidate for reduced mass.
Now in its third year, the annual survey was conducted as the European Union delayed a vote to adopt stringent 2020 emission regulations. This uncertainty, coupled with the mid-term evaluation process built into the 2017-2025 US regulations, stimulated a survey asking WardsAuto subscribers to weigh in on the outcome and whether their companies are reacting to uncertainties. More than 1,300 subscribers responded to the survey. Forty three percent report there are no changes while 36 percent say there are some or many changes in the development pipeline.
Lightweighting is core to meeting new standards and one that is growing in value, according to more than 60 percent of respondents. When asked which systems are the most likely targets, all ranked relatively equally.
In addition to lightweighting, the survey shows the industry continues to optimize the internal-combustion engine, develop hybrid and electric vehicles and adopt alternative fuels. Along these lines, DuPont says it offers advanced materials to help reduce mass and improve efficiency, battery chemistries and materials for more efficient electric-powered vehicles, and it has collaborated to develop low global warming potential refrigerants for vehicles and biofuels manufactured from non-food based cellulosic resources.