April 26, 2012
Ford “weighing down their options” 0
Ford wants to lower the weight of their cars and trucks by around 113 KG to 340 KG by the year 2020.
Ford are aiming to make their vehicles more energy efficient, with a lighter car meaning a more economical and fuel efficient car. Fuel prices are showing no sign of decreasing anytime soon, with prices all over the world reaching an all time high.
Why carbon fibre is so special
This essentially means that carbon fibre material will be increased. What’s special about this particular material over conventional steel is that it is 10 times stronger yet only a quarter of the weight. This will be quite costly however. Ford have combined with Dow Chemical in order to find a more cost effective method of sourcing carbon fibre material for Ford’s future cars.
Government target set
Ford have been somewhat forced to implement such a strategy through tough Government laws. By the year 2025, cars and trucks must reach an efficiency rating of 54.5 MPG.
Reducing weight needed for electric vehicles
Paul Mascarenas, Ford’s Chief Technical Officer explained how lighter materials were needed for future electric vehicles. He said “Reducing weight will benefit the efficiency of every Ford vehicle. However, it’s particularly critical to improving the range of plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles.”
Ford need to improve
Ford clearly has some catching up to do. Last year’s average MPG for cars trucks was 22.8 across the United States. Ford’s figure hit 21.3 MPG. (According to data released by the Environmental Protection Agency)
General Motors, Ford’s biggest rivals, have already signed a deal with Teijin Limited to source carbon fibre parts throughout the world. It is no wonder that Ford and General Motors have decided to join forces with a raw material company in order to source carbon fibre parts.
Not a new concept
Many car manufacturers are expected set to follow suit. Plenty of sports cars already have the material as it is a truly effective manner of increasing a vehicle’s economical benefits by decreasing the weight. Carbon fibre optional extras are available as spoilers on cars such as the Toyota Celica. However it’s high cost has hindered the wide scale use of the material in the automotive industry so far. It is no wonder Ford and General Motors have decided to link up with raw materials companies.