If you wear glasses to correct your vision, chances are good you already know the benefits of polycarbonate lenses over glass ones. Not only are polycarbonate lenses significantly lighter, they’re also much more impact-resistant than glass. Polycarbonate windows have been used in racing cars for years to shed pounds, and the time may be right to roll out plastic windows in production cars, too. As The Detroit News tells us, Fiat’s 2014 500L will join more exotic offerings (like the Porsche 911 GT3 and the Audi R8 GT) in using plastic for some of its glazing. Auto glass typically...
Reduce, Re-use, Recycle: Chevy Volt's Power Pack Planter
Reducing fuel consumption and emissions is only one aspect of automotive sustainability - at the end of a car's life comes the time for its components to be re-used and recycled. We'd hope for Chevrolet's sake that its 2011 Volt models aren't already reaching the end of their life-cycles but it's...Antony Ingram
Flower Power: Ford To Use Dandelion Roots In Rubber Parts
Dandelion flowers may look pretty to some but to many, they're a weed that needs uprooting throughout the warmer months to prevent them from taking over the garden. What better to provide the basis of a renewable source for rubber than a plant that grows abundantly and quickly? Ford and the Ohio...Antony Ingram
Ford's Chocolate-Inspired Plastics (Still Not Edible Though)
Car companies draw inspiration from the strangest of places. The styling of the 2010 Nissan Cube was apparently inspired by the look of a bulldog in sunglasses, and the fins of many 1950s cars were a homage to the space race. However, we've not yet seen car technology inspired by a chocolate bar -...Antony Ingram
Going Bananas: Bio-Plastics Could Mean Fruity Future Cars
Plastic is one of mankind's great inventions. It's more or less impossible to get by in the modern world without owning or using something made from one type of plastic or another - from the computer you're reading this on to food packaging and beyond. Cars, too. Have a quick think about the car...Antony Ingram
Carbon Fiber: The Next Step, Courtesy Of New Teijin Tech
Carbon fiber is enjoying something of a birthday this year. With the release of the 2011 McLaren MP4-12C supercar, McLaren celebrates thirty years since they developed the first carbon fiber monocoque chassis, used in their 1981 Formula 1 racing car. They were then the first to develop a carbon...Antony Ingram
In a world first for a Dutch carmaker, DuraCar will feature a world premiere at the Paris Motor Show this week. Suitably, the car that's being launched is not an ordinary car: its body and chassis are made entirely of plastic, and all of its power comes from electricity. Called the QUICC! DiVa, the car is intended to be a truly green solution to the issue of personal transportation. In explaining their motives, the company quotes Albert Einstein as saying, "The world will not evolve past its current state of crisis by using the same thinking that created the situation." The EV itself is a...