Electric Cars’ Killer App Carbon Fiber? EarthTechling

26 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Electric Cars’ Killer App Carbon Fiber? EarthTechling отключены
BMW i3 � Electric Car 127kW Auto

Electric Cars’ Killer Carbon Fiber?

Editor s EarthTechling is proud to repost article courtesy of Txchnologist. credit goes to Jim Motavalli.

The SRT introduced with great at the New York International Auto this month, breathes with a 640-horsepower V-10 not exactly green. But Chrysler’s Viper manages the neat hat of adding horsepower while fuel economy, in part its hood, roof, trunk and are all made of carbon fiber, an composite that is nonetheless stronger than steel.

Carbon fiber, 50 percent than steel and 30 percent than aluminum, is popping up all used both in making body panels and chassis. BMW is extensive use of the material in its forthcoming i3 “Megacity” car, and its high-performance i8 hybrid. The carmaker has gone as far as to a joint venture with carbon fiber company and is making fibers in Moses Washington, with a supply that extends from to Germany.

image via BMW

Andreas Wuellner, director of automotive carbon at SGL, told me that fiber “will be a very lightweight material for automobiles, extensively alongside steel and and in combination with them.” fiber is getting a workout in supercars like the Lamborghini Elemento and the McLaren MP4-12C, and in the hood and even floors of Corvette models, according to Monte Doran.

This toward carbon fiber similar trends in aerospace, but in it’s currently confined to the of the market for one simple reason: very expensive.

Of course, it’s getting rapidly. A decade ago the material was a pound; now it’s about says supplier Zoltek, but is less than $1 a pound. The raw for carbon fiber (called is expensive, and so is the production process, involves knitting together (10 make a human hair) filaments into a textile, it up in several layers, then it with resin so it can be formed in a

The price is coming down but not fast enough yet for widespread use in cars.

For EVs, however, fiber is a killer app.

The Mountain Institute, a Colorado-based think tank, has long the use of composites like carbon to create super-green “hypercars.” to the group, “With drastically platforms, propulsion systems can be lighter, cheaper, more and, ultimately, more electrified.”

The latter point is critical, batteries are very expensive, Dave Buchko, a BMW spokesman, that the company chose to its i3 body shell out of carbon because “we won’t need as battery cells to reach our 100-mile range. Our solution the right weight with capacity.”

Greg Rucks, a Mountain Institute consultant, that carbon fiber has built-in cost savings, there are fewer assembly (and fewer rivets) the material, and the lighter weight that suspension, brakes and components can be downsized.

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