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Toyota using renewably sourced DuPont Sorona EP Polymer for Prius α (alpha)

The new Toyota Prius α hybrid vehicle features automotive interiors made of DuPont Sorona EP polymer, a high-performance, renewably sourced thermoplastic resin.

Developed in close collaboration with DuPont Kabushiki Kaisha (DKK), Toyota Motor Corporation, Kojima Press Industry Co., Ltd. and Howa Plastics Co., Ltd., the parts made from Sorona EP polymers are used on the instrument-panel air-conditioning system outlet and contribute to the advanced interior design while also reducing the environmental footprint.

Tadayuki Koyama DuPont Performance Polymers (DPP) account manager for Toyota, credited the global DPP team’s research and development collaborations, as well as support from technical, supply chain and operations for success in achieving the commercialization of this first automotive application of Sorona EP polymers.

Sorona EP polymers contain between 20% and 37% renewably sourced material (by weight) derived from plant sugar. Working with Toyota, the team was able to confirm that performance and molding characteristics of Sorona EP in this application are similar or better to petroleum-based high-performance PBT (polybutylene terephthalate). Sorona EP also helps reduce both carbon dioxide emissions and the use of petrochemicals used to produce use the PBT that is typically used for conventional auto interior parts. Sorona EP also offers lower warpage and improved surface appearance, compared to PBT, to help streamline the manufacturing process.

Toyota launched the Prius α in Japan in May 2011.

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