STUTTGART, Germany—Mercedes-Benz is using plastic made from used tires and agricultural waste to make components for new vehicles.
Mercedes is working with several suppliers on the project. Pyrum Innovations AG generates pyrolysis oil from used tires. BASF then combines the oil with biomethane from agricultural waste to create a plastic with the same characteristics as virgin plastic produced from crude oil. This enables the recycled material to be used as a “drop-in” replacement in current production vehicles. The recycled material meets Mercedes’ requirements for paintability and crash safety.
This year, the EQE and S-Class will be the first production models to be equipped with bow door handles made from the new material. The S-Class will also have with a crash absorber molded from the material. Forthcoming models, such as the EQE SUV, will also have parts made from the new material.
Mercedes-Benz is pursuing a target of carbon-neutrality throughout the entire value chain for its passenger car fleet by 2039.
“On our journey to an all-electric future, we are rethinking the composition of all the materials in our vehicles. Every action counts when it comes to conserving resources,” says Markus Schäfer, chief technology officer for development and procurement at Mercedes. “We anticipate being able to chemically recycle several hundred tons of scrap tires from Mercedes-Benz vehicles every year and use the resulting plastic in our new vehicles.”The company is striving to increase the proportion of recycled materials in its car fleet to an average of 40 percent by 2030.