Audi is making the most of plastic waste and parts from old or damaged cars by reusing them for seatbelt buckles in its Q8 e-tron models. The casings for these buckles are partially manufactured from mixed automobile plastic waste using a chemical recycling process. This is the first time that the company is installing safety components in this way.
Audi, in conjunction with the PlasticLoop project, has also established an innovative process with plastics manufacturer LyondellBasell, based on the findings from a pilot project. The company shared a video of the process of making seatbelts from waste plastic. It shows how plastic components are first stripped from customer vehicles, freed of foreign materials such as metal clips, before being broken down into smaller pieces.
These parts are then processed into pyrolysis oil by means of chemical recycling. This oil is then used as a raw material for the manufacture of new plastics, harnessing a mass balance approach. The plastic granulate thereby obtained, is utilized in the production of Q8 e-tron seatbelt buckle covers.
Thanks to this process, Audi and its other project participants have managed to recover a flow of materials which are usually only suitable for energy recovery. It will also allow Audi to use fossil raw materials for longer and reduce its purchasing of additional primary materials for the Q8 e-tron accordingly. Materials produced from the pyrolysis oil are of the same high standard as newly manufactured goods and offer identical technical characteristics.
The Audi Q8 e-tron comes with more battery capacity and higher charging performance. The electric luxury-class SUV gets an increased range of up to 582 kilometers in the SUV version and up to 600 kilometers in the Sportback version (in accordance with the WLTP). Significant changes, especially at the front of the vehicle, lend the new flagship SUV a fresher appearance.
First Published Date: 24 Nov 2022, 12:30 PM IST