Ford gets deal with net-zero parts supplier

DEARBORN—Ford Motor Co. announced the launch of a new “net zero automotive program” with West Sacramento, Calif.-based Origin Materials.

Origin’s Net Zero Automotive Program is a sustainable automotive supply chain initiative focused on industrializing new materials to drive decarbonization in the automotive industry. Origin officials say newly developed and industrialized materials, derived from sustainable wood residues, will be in high demand from the automotive industry as it undertakes a massive global effort to decarbonize its supply chains in search of the “zero carbon” car. The program will aim to provide the automotive industry with drop-in ready materials to enable this transition.

To launch the program, Origin Materials and Ford will pursue drop-in applications for carbon negative PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastics produced from sustainable wood residues with Origin technology. PET helps make cars lighter, more fuel efficient, and often comprise a large percentage of a vehicle’s mass. The use of carbon-negative PET is expected to further reduce emissions and the need for fossil resources. In addition, the companies will collaborate to develop sustainable pigments and fillers for automotive applications. The products will be developed using carbon negative materials produced with Origin Materials technology, with applications throughout the interior and exterior of the vehicle, including bumpers, paint pigment, door panels, tire filler, foam sheets, black plastic, head rests, seat cushions, and arm rests.

“Origin’s Net Zero Automotive Program is an exciting initiative that we expect to drive innovation, sustainability and decarbonization throughout the automotive supply chain,” said Rich Riley, co-CEO of Origin. “Ford is the perfect partner to launch the program with and we look forward to working with their teams to bring new sustainable products to market that will play a key role in helping them achieve their decarbonization and sustainability goals.”

Added Debbie Mielewski, a technical fellow at Ford: “Ford’s path to carbon neutrality evaluates every part of our operations, including the emissions associated with synthesizing the vast amount of materials we use within our vehicles. The ability to utilize carbon negative materials will be a monumental driver in helping achieve our sustainability goals and supports a more proactive vision for the entire industry.”

Origin Materials’ patented technology, which turns inexpensive, plentiful, and sustainable wood residues into carbon-negative materials, can help to revolutionize the production of a wide range of products, including clothing, textiles, plastics, packaging, car parts, tires, carpeting, toys, and more. Origin says the market for such materials could top $1 trillion a year.

In addition, Origin Materials’ technology platform is expected to provide stable pricing largely decoupled from the petroleum supply chain, which is exposed to more volatility than supply chains based on sustainable wood residues.

Origin Materials’ first commercial plant is expected to be operational in 2022 with a second commercial plant expected to be operational by 2025 and plans for additional expansion over the next decade.

For more information, visit www.originmaterials.com.

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