Controlling environmental impacts more effectively

Innovation and clean technologies - key drivers of SER
source: S_LIFE

Sophie RICHET, Eco-conception manager, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Paris (F) presented Electric and Hybrid Mobility - Environmental stakes over the life cycle during the 2nd Public Conference E_LIFE in October in Munich.

Sophie Richet joined PSA Peugeot Citroën in 1998. First in charge of analyzing the recycling of vehicles, later in charge of compliance with the requirements of the ELV and than became responsible for the project design in the division Painting Materials and Methods.

PSA Peugeot Citroën is reducing its CO2 emissions first and foremost by applying the EURO 5 and EURO 6 standards to all engines and also by implementing an efficient innovation strategy. The Group is aiming to optimise use of natural resources and to ensure complete recycling of its products at end of life. To this end, it has put in place a life cycle analysis to measure all the environmental impacts of its vehicles, from design through to destruction. The objective is to support the assessment and approval of the materials adopted for each new vehicle project.

This analysis is part of an eco-design process that seeks to maximise the quantity of green materials used in vehicle design (30% of green polymers in Group models in 2015 and 23% from 2012 with the Peugeot 208 in particular), and to optimise future disassembly and recycling right from the start.

Innovation and clean technologies - key drivers of SER

From the start of design and at every stage in the life cycle, measures have to be taken to limit the environmental impact of its vehicles by limiting fuel consumption and CO2/pollutant emissions, for example, as well as by moderating its use of natural resources, increasing recyclability, so Sophie Richet. Looking beyond efforts to ensure that the vehicles comply with the environmental regulations in each of the countries where they are sold, OEMs have to be one step ahead.
For this reason, PSA Peugeot Citroën devotes a significant part of its research studies to clean technologies, designed to reduce the eco-footprint of its cars.

In Europe, 44% of vehicles sold by the Group in 2012 emitted less than 120g of CO2/km. Continuing these efforts, the objectives for 2015 are:

  • 65% of vehicles emitting less than 120g of CO2/km
  • 30% vehicles emitting less than 100g of CO2/km.

Sophie RICHET, Eco-conception manager, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Paris (F)

 Using green materials (recycled or biosourced)

One of the major areas of research is polymers (non-metallic and non-mineral materials), which make up 20% of the overall vehicle weight. Most of the other materials (metals, fluids, etc.) are already recyclable and largely recycled. The steel used for vehicles includes a significant proportion of recycled steel.

"Green materials" apply to three families of materials: recycled plastics, natural materials (wood, vegetable fibre, etc.) and biosourced materials (polymers produced from renewable rather than petrochemical resources). These materials offer a number of advantages :
Reduction our dependency to fossil-based plastics hence recovering some level of cost control and pulling the development of our plastic recycling industry through demand .

Already in 2008, PSA Peugeot Citroën put in place an ambitious plan that has increased the percentage of so-called green materials to 25% of the total weight of polymers on the 208 (excluding tyres) in 2012, compared with an average of 6% in 2007.

Practical examples:

  • the Citroën DS5 includes 19% of green materials out of 270 kg of polymers (excluding tyres). Of these green materials, 30% are natural and 70% are recycled. For example, flax fibre reinforced polypropylene is used for the seat shells, and recycled polypropylene for the headlamp housings, dashboard ducts and air filter housing
  • the Peugeot 208, includes 25% of green materials out of its total weight of polymers. The rear bumper is made entirely of recycled materials ̶ a world first. According to Group life cycle analysis studies, the 100% recycled polypropylene bumper saves 1,600 tonnes of oil over a year of production in Europe. At the same time, a study conducted jointly by PSA Peugeot Citroën, Rhodia and Valeo, showed that making the motor-driven fan from a formulation based on recycled polyamide reduces CO2 emissions by around 30% compared with the same part made from new polyamide.

Material choices and environmental impacts

Materials, such as glass, plastics, composites, steel or aluminium do not have the same impact on environment.
"The challenge is to find the best compromise between all the requirements", says Sophie Richet.

FP7 - seventh framework programme
European Union
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme FP7 under grant agreement n 285811.