Is Plastic The Future Of Car Windows?
Automakers seem determined to increase fuel efficiency through weight reduction. Why bother with difficult design and innovation when you can simply make something lighter and cheaper? Well, there are only so many components that can be made of plastic and still be safe. Are the windows in your car next?
A few companies are trying to sell automakers on the notion of using polycarbonate as a lightweight alternative to glass windows. Polycarbonate glazing is lighter. Heating and cooling loads can also be reduced by applying UV-blockers to the plastic, which also saves fuel. Reportedly, as much as the material’s lighter weight. So, why isn’t it in widespread use? Cost.
Automakers are worried that the additional cost of polycarbonate would make new cars too expensive and slow sales. That could change if just one automaker somewhere in the world decided to give the material a try. Carmakers are followers. They will follow the success of any other company in the industry.