Altair Announces Winners of 2023 Altair Enlighten Award

Polestar, Toyota, Marelli, and others among winners aiming to create a more sustainable, lightweight future.

Polestar, Toyota, Marelli, and others among winners aiming to create a more sustainable, lightweight future.

The Altair Enlighten Award honors sustainability and lightweighting advancements that successfully reduce carbon footprint, mitigate water and energy consumption, and leverage material reuse and recycling efforts. Image courtesy of Altair.

Altair has named the winners of the 2023 Altair Enlighten Award. Presented in association with the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), the Altair Enlighten Award honors sustainability and lightweighting advancements that successfully reduce carbon footprint, mitigate water and energy consumption, and leverage material reuse and recycling efforts.


“The Altair Enlighten Award is a special award that showcases how the automotive industry’s leading minds—from the biggest names to its newest startups—are applying advanced technologies and responsible AI to create a better, greener industry,” says James R. Scapa, founder, and chief executive officer, Altair. “Lightweighting, optimization, and sustainability are more important than ever in the modern automotive industry. Altair is proud to honor the innovations that will drive the future of a sustainable industry.”

“As always, we’re honored to be presenting the Enlighten Award together with Altair, and we look forward to seeing what innovations this year’s submissions bring as we work towards a more sustainable automotive ecosystem,” said Alan Amici, president, and chief executive officer, Center for Automotive Research. 

The complete list of all winning organizations, runners-up, and honorable mentions are below.

Sustainable Product

Winner (Passenger Vehicle): Polestar—Polestar 2 MY24

The 2024 Polestar 2 features next-generation electric motors, quicker charging, greater efficiency, and longer range—now up to 654 kilometers as measured by the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). The Polestar 2 has a reduced carbon footprint, with some versions now producing up to 3 tons less carbon dioxide compared to the launch version released in 2020. 

Winner (Class 8): Nikola Corporation—Nikola Tre FCEV

When developing the new Nikola Tre FCEV, Nikola emphasized recycling—100% of car scrap produced in the production of pre-consumer batteries was recycled and/or reused, and 100% of hazardous waste produced during production was safely recycled. Nikola also implemented a circular reuse program for all battery pallets, and the vehicle manufacturing process consumed no water.

Runner-up: Lucid Motors—Lucid Air Sedan

California-based EV manufacturer Lucid Air has launched its flagship Lucid Air sedan. The Lucid Air lineup—with its core technology designed and engineered completely in-house—can add 300 miles of range in just 22 minutes of charge.

Sustainable Process

Winner: ArcelorMittal—Use of Biomass for Carbon-Neutral Steelmaking

The ArcelorMittal Port-Cartier pellet plant substituted pyrolytic oil for heavy fuel oil on a continuous basis. By using this biofuel, produced locally by BioÉnergie AE Côte-Nord Canada, ArcelorMittal reduces its emissions but builds a regional energy ecosystem by uniting two resources of the Côte-Nord region, iron and forest.

Runner-up: Brose Antriebstechnik GmbH, Co. Kommanditgesellschaft, Berlin—Reman-Drive—Remanufactured E-Bike Drive

Brose introduced a remanufactured, lower-cost drive that saves 46.2 pounds of carbon emissions per unit. The process recovers and restores previously sold, worn-out, or non-functional products to “like new” conditions.

Honorable Mention: Kasai Kogyo Co. Ltd.—Kasai Hi-Papia, Kasai Original Sustainable Material

Kasai Hi-Papia (KHP) is composed of 100% recycled polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), and pure talc. In addition, material scrap from the KHP manufacturing process is reused. 

Responsible AI

Winner: Volteras—A Novel Way to Connect the Electric Vehicle Ecosystem

Volteras’s API gives businesses access to electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem data with a 2-week integration. Its products allow organizations to reduce energy waste and emissions, better manage EV fleets, optimize charging across home chargers using its smart charging algorithms, and more.

Enabling Technology

Winner: Toyota, BASF Corp, and US Farathane—Adoption of Resin Frame for IsoDynamic Seat

Toyota converted more than 17 multi-piece steel parts into just one molded part, using far less raw material and decreasing waste. In addition, this is an adoption of lateral, vertical and horizontal dynamic motions with adjustable dampers for the driver and passenger seats in off-road vehicles.

Runner-up: NIO—HPDC Material and Processing Methods for Efficient Structural Design

With the goal of minimizing environmental impact, NIO used a new alloy material that doesn’t require heat treatment, and used a more accurate, more efficient laser cleaning process. 

Module Lightweighting

Winner: Toyota, Adient, and Multimatic—IsoDynamic Seat, Accra SuperStructure

Multimatic's Accra technology is a high-volume, hot-form manufacturing process that uses form blow hardening (including rapid water quenching) to manufacture ultra-high strength (boron) steel.  

Runner-up: Nemak—BMW HPDC E-Bracket

Nemak developed a new alloy material for high-pressure die casting (HPDC) and reduced the BMW E-bracket’s overall weight by 30%.

Future of Lightweighting

Winner: Marelli—Lightweight Urethane for Interior Products

Marelli developed a new lightweight polyurethane foam that can be applied to all foam-in-place (FIP) applications, particularly the main dashboard panel. It reduces part mass by 40% with new tooling, 8% from current tooling, and reduces volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by 80% compared to the current polyurethane foam in use.

Runner-up: Solvay Specialty Polymers—Ajedium PEEK Slot Liners

Ajedium PEEK slot liners can reduce battery pack weight by 36.4 pounds and the e-motor size by 8.8 lbs. Additionally, there’s no requirement for high-power dedusting equipment or climate-controlled storage to prevent moisture uptake – which reduces energy consumption – since PEEK slot liners can be inserted via existing equipment. 

Honorable Mention: WorldAutoSteel, Ricardo plc—Steel Body Structures for Fully Autonomous Vehicles

WorldAutoSteel and engineering partner Ricardo developed this concept vehicle that features a 621.7-pound body structure, and a 25% mass reduction over an expected reference vehicle. 

Honorable Mention: Michigan Technological University for Auto/Steel Partnership—Steel E-Motive Side Closure Mechanism

By developing this mechanism using advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) instead of aluminum, there is the potential to reduce carbon emissions by 3x while also reducing manufacturing costs.

Partners for the 2023 Enlighten Award include Automotive Engineering SAE, Tech Briefs, Auto Bild Japan, Automobile Industrie, and the Korean Society of Automotive Engineers (KSAE).

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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