Taking the restrictions imposed by the EU ELV directive into account, the use of non-recyclable composite
components in car manufacturing is not obvious. However, from a life cycle engineering perspective the
introduction of composites in car design is not necessarily negative in terms of additional environmental
impact. An extensive life cycle analysis for a reference car design was conducted to study the effects of
replacement of conventional steel structures by lightweight composite alternatives. The obtained results
reveal the need for a nuanced attitude towards more intensive use of composites in car design. The
sensitivity of the analysis results for the used carbon fibre production method is documented, indicating
significant improvement potential based on emerging, less energy consuming production methods.