Altair, CAR Salute Advances in Automotive Lightweighting

The 2023 winners include Polestar, Lucid, Nikola and Toyota.

Gary Witzenburg, Correspondent

August 1, 2023

2 Min Read
Nikola Tre 3 screenshot
Big-truck maker Nikola honored for recycling, reuse in battery production.Nikola

TRAVERSE CITY, MIThe late, great race car designer-builder Colin Chapman’s formula for making his Lotus racers go faster and win more was simple: “Add lightness.”

But that was not always so simple to accomplish while maintaining sufficient strength and durability.

Production-vehicle engineers have long been challenged by that same critically important mission: take out meaningful weight without sacrificing solidity, crashworthiness, reliability or long-term durability. Making vehicles lighter, even by a little, improves nearly everything – performance, handling, steering and braking dynamics as well as fuel efficiency and emissions. Yet those vehicles absolutely must meet customer expectations, hold together long-term, protect occupants in crashes and tote around ever-increasing loads of features.

Each year, Altair, a global leader in computational science and artificial intelligence, in association with the Center for Automotive Research, names Enlighten Award winners to honor automakers and suppliers who have achieved the most significant breakthroughs in Chapman’s ancient art of adding lightness to modern vehicles and components as well as for environmentally sustainable innovations.

“Lightweighting, optimization and sustainability are more important than ever in the modern automotive industry,” says Altair founder and CEO James R. Scapa. “Altair is proud to honor the innovations that will drive the future of a sustainable industry.”

This year’s winners in the Sustainable Product category are Polestar (passenger car) and Nikola (Class 8 truck), the former for the ’24 Polestar 2’s next-generation electric motors, quicker charging, greater efficiency and longer range; the latter for 100% recycling/reuse of scrap produced in battery production and all hazardous waste from production of its Nikola Tre fuel-cell vehicle. Runner-up is Lucid Motors for its Lucid Air Sedan, which has broken industry records for range, charging speeds, aerodynamics and performance.

Other 2023 awards:

Sustainable Process

Winner: ArcelorMittal – use of biomass for carbon-neutral steelmaking

Runner-up: Brose Antriebstechnik GmbH, Co. Kommanditgesellschaft, Berlin – Reman-Drive remanufactured e-bike drive

Honorable Mention: Kasai Kogyo Co. Ltd. Kasai Hi-Papia – original sustainable material

Responsible AI

Winner: Volteras – “A novel way to connect the electric vehicle ecosystem”

Enabling Technology

Winner: Toyota, BASF Corp. and US Farathane – the world’s first adoption of resin frame for an ISO-Dynamic seat

Runner-up: NIO HPDC – material and processing methods for efficient structural design

Module Lightweighting

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

Runner-up: Nemak – BMW HPDC E-bracket

Future of Lightweighting

Winner: Marelli – Lightweight urethane for interior products

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

Honorable Mention: WorldAutoSteel, Ricardo – steel body structures for fully autonomous vehicles

Honorable Mention: Michigan Technological University for auto/steel partnership – steel E-motive side closure mechanism

These 2023 Enlighten Award winners were announced at the CAR Management Briefing Seminars on Aug. 1. 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). For more information about the Enlighten Awards, visit

Altair Enlighten Award screenshot 2.png

Altair Enlighten Award screenshot 2


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