Rhoda Miel, ERJ staff (AN / PN)
Detroit, Michigan -- Toyota Motor Corp. plans to use a sugar cane-based PET in vehicle liners and other interior surfaces in what it calls the world's first use of the material.
PET stands for polyethylene terephthalate -- the same type of plastic used in water bottles
Toyota Tsusho Corp., founded by the carmaker in the 1930s, developed the material with the automaker. The bio-PET, called Ecological Plastic, offers improved performance in heat resistance and durability compared to other bio-based plastic resins and can compete with standard PET, the company said today.
Toyota's plans for extensive use of Ecological Plastic provides the volume production levels needed to improve the cost per part, while the material also can be used in both seats and carpeting in addition to standard plastic parts.
Toyota Tsusho replaces standard monoethylene glycol in PET with a raw material made from sugar cane.
Its first use will be in the 2011 Lexus CT200h compact hybrid, as the luggage compartment liner. The car will go on sale in early 2011. From there, the company said it will expand both the number of vehicles using Ecological Plastic as well as the extent of vehicle interior parts using it.
It also plans to introduce a vehicle in 2011 using the plastic in 80 percent of the interior.
Toyota has used environmentally friendly plastics, with both bio-based resins and plastics with recycled content, since 2000. Its Japan-only Sai hybrid debuted in 2009 with 60 percent of its exposed interior surfaces made from bio-plastics.
From Automotive News (A Crain publication)