APIP participates in the Automotive Summit

June 25, 2024

On June 25, CNN Portugal, in partnership with Standvirtual, brought together several experts and companies from the automotive sector at the Automotive Summit at the Museu do Oriente in Lisbon. This conference, whose theme was "The Car of the Future", reflected on the future of this sector as well as the economic, fiscal and, above all, environmental challenges it faces.
APIP participates in the Automotive Summit

APIP's Vice-President for Automotive and Technical Parts, Gonçalo Tome, took part in the round table "Industry and value chain", moderated by Vitor Costa and attended by José Couto, President of AFIA, João Faustino, President of CEFAMOL - Portuguese Association for the Mould Industry and Nuno Rangel, Director of APLOG.

Gonçalo Tomé said that, currently, around 50% of a car's volume is made up of plastic, yet this material only accounts for 10% of the car's weight. Having 5 times less specific density than other materials, plastic also has an influence on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions - in a car with a combustion engine, emissions are a direct function of weight, i.e. when the car is lighter, it will emit fewer GHGs during its service, with greater environmental performance. On the other hand, in battery cars, less weight means greater autonomy.

Another important issue, according to APIP's Vice-President for Automotive and Technical Parts, is safety. Plastic is used in several of the car's active and passive safety components, absorbing energy from a possible impact and preventing this energy from being transferred to the vehicle's occupants. This material is also indispensable for various safety systems, such as airbags, and many of the systems supporting the progress of autonomous driving use plastic components to support radar, LiDAR, cameras and other devices, in addition to foams, fabrics and the countless applications of carpets, as well as physical parts.

Gonçalo Tomé stressed that cars have never had as much plastic as they do today and that the trend will be to incorporate more of this material. Proof of this is the fact that, in a decade, the weight of a car has fallen by around 80 kg, with plastic components increasing by 30 kg. On the other hand, the incorporation of recycled material has been a concern of the industry for more than 20 years, which has been carrying out life cycle analyses even before they became a regulatory requirement. Decarbonization is also an important vector, with most of the industries in this sector in Portugal already acting on the direct and indirect emissions of the energy they consume (scope 1 and scope 2 respectively).