The quest to save weight and make vehicles more environmentally friendly has left no part of a car untouched-not even the wires that connect the electrical components.
Delphi Corp., the world's second-largest auto supplier, said its Packard Electric division will equip a 2007 vehicle with thin-walled wires that weigh 25 percent less than traditional wiring.
The weight savings comes from a new type of flexible plastic coating Delphi developed with General Electric's Advanced Materials division. GE will supply Delphi with resins for the product, called Flexible Noryl.
Delphi officials would not identify the first vehicle scheduled to use the new wiring.
Auto makers are looking for ways to save weight in order to boost fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. Vehicles have been gaining weight and complexity in recent years as consumers have been demanding more electrical items, such as navigation systems.
The typical vehicle has about 40 pounds of wiring, according to Dave Wohleen, president of Delphi's Electronics & Mobile Communication sector. The new wire coating cuts that to about 30 pounds.
GE and Delphi said the wiring is more expensive than conventional wiring but wouldn't give details.
Delphi produces 300 miles of wiring an hour at its two U.S. plants.