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Tomorrow’s vehicles are made today!


On 18 November 2011, between 10.00 and 11.00 CET, the Futurenergia school programme will be hosting an online chat with Dr. Willy Hoven-Nievelstein, head of the Engineering Plastics Europe unit of BASF.
For a more complete CV, press here .

The objective of this chat is to acquaint pupils and teachers with cutting-edge technology applied in the automotive sector, in order to generate benefits in design, performance, safety and very importantly, in energy efficiency of vehicles.


Themes you may wish to cover include:

Which ways innovative materials have revolutionised cars design.

• How advanced plastic materials are used to improve the design of auto body interiors and exteriors.
E.g. noise level, aesthetic appeal, ergonomic layout, innovative roofs able to lighten up, to darken and to change color.

How innovation can improve car performances.

E.g. decreasing weight with new innovative carbon fibre, cars will squeeze more speed.

How innovation in the automotive sector benefits the environment.

• Plastics parts in cars save approximately 40-50% in weight compared to alternative materials. E.g. A modern mid range car weighing c:a 1,000 Kg contains around 15% of plastics

• Innovation in plastics contributes to make vehicles more fuel efficient through weight reduction. E.g. Car fuel system components. Plastics also enable innovative techniques that minimize vapor emissions fuel (4.8 litres of fuel every 100km and 120g of CO2 per km).

• Plastics enable hybrid techonology.


• End-of-Life Vehicle and its components.

How innovative materials have improved drivers, passengers and pedestrians safety.

• E.g. The new system “ controlled crash”.

• “Smart fiber” belt that stretches in a car crash and absorbs the crash energy; the new “inflatable” seat belts made from plastics that expands like air bags in a collision.


Now it’s your turn to participate!

Would you like to participate? Are you interested in this event? Write to futurenergia@eun.org !


These are some indicative questions that can help students better understand the topic of the chat.

Students are encouraged to have a look at these questions in advance of the chat, do some background research, discuss in class and use these or other relevant questions when chatting with the expert.


    1. In what ways can plastics contribute to making innovative and high-performing vehicles?

    2. Can you find any example or project of modern design in automotive where plastics play a significative role?

    3. In what ways can innovation in car design contribute to making cars more energy efficient?

    4. What materials do you think are the best to make fuel-efficient vehicles?

    5. Will traditional car use still run petrol in future? Maybe: Will cars in the future still run on petrol?

    6. Can cars be recycled?

    7. How can innovative materials increase road-safety?


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