he latest prototype electric vehicle (EV) from SIM-Drive Corp. (Kawasaki City, Japan) employs two types of polyamide supplied by DSM Engineering Plastics (Singapore). The SIM-CEL is a high-performance EV that boasts a range of almost 325 km on a single charge and it can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.2 seconds.
This outstanding performance is in part due to lightweighting technologies developed in collaboration with DSM and others. DSM contributed to the development of three parts for the SIM-CEL: a body panel in its EcoPaXX polyamide 410; a wheel cover center cap in the same material; and a heat sink for highly energy-efficient LED headlights in Stanyl TC polyamide 46. EcoPaXX polyamide 410 is 70% resourced from the castor plant. It is certified 100% carbon neutral from cradle to gate.
Kees Tintel, who was responsible for development of EcoPaXX at DSM, says the new grade contributes to weight reduction in the SIM-CEL by replacing metal; the part is in fact at least 50% lighter than a metal version. EcoPaXXs very good flow properties provide an excellent surface finish, and it has the necessary high temperature resistance to enable inline painting along with the rest of the vehicle. Unlike some other polyamides, it absorbs little water, and therefor has a very good dimensional stability. It also has sufficient elasticity to enable assembly with snap fits.