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Renault Goes Big on Bio-composite to Lightweight 5 E-Tech

The bio-composite material incorporating natural hemp fibers with a matrix of fully recycled PP offers a 73% reduction in CO2 emissions and a 20% weight saving.

Stephen Moore

May 31, 2024

2 Min Read
Renault 5 E-Tech
Image courtesy of Renault

With sustainability becoming ever more crucial to consumers, Renault has made the choice to respond to this demand by packing its new all-electric car with low-CO2 materials supplied by Forvia (formerly Faurecia). The materials include NAFILean-R and Ecorium, which incorporate recycled polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) content, and natural materials such as hemp fiber. 

First time use of bio-composite in a vehicle.

Materi’act, Forvia’s sustainable materials division, supplies the Renault 5 E-Tech with NAFILean-R, a bio-composite incorporating 20% natural hemp fibers with a matrix of fully recycled PP derived from post-consumer waste. It has been adopted for the first time on board a vehicle in the instrument panel.

Developed and supplied by Materi’act, together with recyclers Veolia and APM, this material offers a 73% reduction in CO2 emissions together with 20% weight saving without compromising on stringent specifications for resistance, crash safety, and cabin air quality. The car’s center console is also made from sustainable materials.

Renault-5-E-Tech-interior.jpeg

Animal leather alternative.

Ecorium, a premium trimming material for seats designed as an alternative to animal leather, will also be available in certain models of the new E-Tech. This material, also made from recycled plastic — in this case PET — and hemp, offers a 90% reduction in CO2 emissions compared with traditional leather. The hemp is locally grown and processed in Burgundy.

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“The new R5 E-Tech is another milestone in Renault’s relentless effort to use as many recycled and renewable materials as we can. Thanks to close collaboration with project engineers and suppliers like Forvia, we have been able to [apply] these materials in areas [where] previously only virgin polymers were used, without any trade-offs in design, performance, or durability,” said François Farion, design director for innovation and sustainability at Groupe Renault.

Eco-responsible mobility.

“It is exciting to be working closely with the Renault and Ampere teams on such an emblematic new vehicle. With all the on-board equipment on the Renault 5 E-Tech, Forvia is once more demonstrating the breadth of its solution portfolio, responding to its customers’ desire for an eco-responsible and innovative mobility,” said Thorsten Muschal, executive vice-president of sales and program management at Forvia.

About the Author(s)

Stephen Moore

Stephen has been with PlasticsToday and its preceding publications Modern Plastics and Injection Molding since 1992, throughout this time based in the Asia Pacific region, including stints in Japan, Australia, and his current location Singapore. His current beat focuses on automotive. Stephen is an avid folding bicycle rider, often taking his bike on overseas business trips, and a proud dachshund owner.

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