As car manufacturers look for ways to improve fuel efficiency, many manufacturers are turning to lighter materials in the production of their cars. GM has begun to work with Osaka-based Teijin Ltd., who provides carbon fiber to Airbus’ A380 superjumbo, to create a lightweight carbon fiber to be used on cars.
The supplier projects that a quarter of all “eco-cars” will be made of carbon fiber by 2020, reaching 3 million units in the next six years. This means that while GM is heading up the effort, they will certainly not be the only car manufacturer to benefit from the new material.
Carbon fiber is known to be 10 times stronger and 75 percent lighter than steel. To this point, the material has only been used in sports cars and luxury vehicles. Together, GM and Teijin Ltd. will work to create the material for mass production, making it available to a number of automakers who are looking to make eco-friendly car manufacturing a priority.
“Rather than just for luxury and sports cars, we will seek to establish an overwhelming position in the general-use car market,” Takashi Yoshino, head of Teijin’s carbon fiber and composite business, said.
According to bloomberg.com, GM has recently approved Teijin’s new technology to cut molding time and costs to enable mass production for passenger vehicles, and now the supplier plans to take the lead in production and development.
Here at Warsaw Buick GMC, we look forward to a future lineup of stronger, lighter, and more fuel efficient vehicles!