Lear Corp. plans to use ElectriPlast-brand conductive resins in electrical connectors for the upcoming Karma plug-in hybrid electric vehicle from Fisker Automotive Inc.
Southfield-based Lear, a Tier 1 automotive interiors supplier, chose the electrically conductive plastics from Integral Technologies Inc. subsidiary ElectriPlast Corp. after months of testing and trials.
Fisker of Anaheim, Calif., contracts with Valmet Automotive Inc. in Uusikaupunki, Finland, to manufacture the premium, low-volume Fisker Karma sedan, which is to enter the market in the 2012 model year. Production is scheduled to run through 2016.
For the Fisker vehicle, Lear designed lightweight connectors using the patented ElectriPlast resins. In addition, ElectriPlast and Lear are collaborating to develop technologies using ElectriPlast resins in next-generation automotive components and devices.
Herbert Reedman, president and CEO of Philadelphia-based ElectriPlast, said the Fisker Karma represents a significant change from mainstream automotive technology and portends movement toward a new generation of electrically powered vehicles.
ElectriPlast claims its materials can be custom-designed to replace metal parts and meet stringent engineering demands. Custom molder and extruder Jasper Rubber Products Inc. of Jasper, Ind., makes the pellets.
Publicly traded Integral Technologies is based in Bellingham, Wash.