The 2015 Detroit Auto Show is awash this year in cars with increased fuel efficiency, electric cars and reduced weights. The industry effort to hit a new standard in fuel economy is highly evident at this year’s show.
In 2012, the Obama administration approved a standard to increase fuel efficiency in cars and small trucks to 54.5 mpg in 2025. The U.S. Department of Transportation and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said that the efforts to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions should save consumers money at the gas pump and reduce U.S. oil consumption by 12 billion barrels.
In order to meet these aggressive standards, automakers continue to invest in new technologies and engineer innovative solutions to improve gasoline engines, increase aerodynamics and reduce vehicle weights. The Detroit Show this year was proof that the industry is making rapid advancements on all fronts.
This year’s show features some tremendous weight reductions of many vehicles. The new Chevy Volt is 243 pounds lighter than its predecessor. The Audi Q7 is 700 pounds lighter. Many other 2015 models are sporting higher gas mileages…and lighter weights. That’s where nonwovens start coming in to the picture.
Invisible to consumers but heavily integrated into the new vehicles are multiple nonwoven fabrics throughout the interior and exterior. And nonwovens aren’t just effective in vehicle weight reduction. Nonwovens serve to increase acoustic absorption, provide air cabin filters and oil filters and offer durable materials for seating, headliners, carpeting and trunk liners.
The rest of the world may be focusing on twin-turbo V6 engines, dramatic hybrid designs, and carbon fiber construction, but we know that improving technology and performance standards starts from the inside out. And that should bring to mind the question that all of us in the nonwovens industry should be asking: how do we continue to improve our processes and technologies to make nonwoven products even better in the coming years?
Blog image by supakitmod/freedigitalphotos.net