Saturday, September 10, 2011

No. 306: A concept electric vehicle made of carbon fiber (September 10, 2010)

Toray, the leader of the carbon fiber market, developed a concept EV made of carbon fiber in alliance with a British automaker. The development cost is about 300 million yen. It is 40% lighter than the existing EVs and strong against collision impact. Named T-Wave AR1, it is a 2-seater sports car with a maximum speed of 147 km/h and can travel 185 km per charge. The user can drive his T-Wave AR1 on the open road if he registers it with the transportation office. The body frame is made of carbon fiber mixed with resin. The 2-seater weighs 846 kg, and a 4-seater will weigh 975 kg. It is about 40% lighter than the conventional EV made mainly of steel. The material that absorbs the collision impact is also made of carbon fiber, and it has 2.5 times higher absorption capacity than steel. The company plans to translate it into practical applications toward 2015. A lighter auto body is a critical subject for the solution of the environmental regulations that grow tighter and tighter. In that sense, carbon fiber that is 10 times stronger than iron and weighs one fourth of iron will be in great demand for car application in the future. The newly-developed EV will be exhibited in the Toray Advanced Materials Symposium 2011 to be held on 14th and 15th of September in Tokyo.

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