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Tesla to consider Carbon Fiber for Model 3?

Discussion in 'Tesla Motors' started by eepic, Aug 13, 2014.

  1. eepic

    eepic Member

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    "GS Caltex to discuss application of long fiber reinforced thermoplastics material to electric car mdoels at a meeting with Tesla officials around end of this month, Yonhap news says, citing an unidentified GS official."

    Pure speculation at this point but thought I'd share that here. Could indicate they may be considering carbon fiber for the Model 3 (since we know it's mostly "not aluminum" but never confirmed to be stainless steel). Take with a grain fo salt though, even if they are meeting with them it could be just for a sales pitch from the supplier or perhaps talks for some of the interior touches for the MS/MX/M3.
     
  2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    Tesla will always discuss with suppliers, but it comes down to (1) cost (2) supply volume.

    They could be discussing carbon fiber for other future models.
     
  3. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    My Model S has a carbon fiber spoiler... strictly cosmetic.
     
  4. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Would it makes sense for some body panels? I believe the BMW M3 has or used to have a CF hood. Might help with denting problem too.
     
  5. jdevo2004

    jdevo2004 Member

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    Could be something to do with the secret R&D that Tesla is doing. My thoughts are that carbon fiber will be extensively used in the Tesla supercar.
     
  6. TD1

    TD1 Member

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    the BMW i3 is mostly made out of Carbon Fiber.
    Although I don't think that Carbon Fiber use will be rational.
    We might find it in some optional body parts for the Model X /Model S to drop some LB and increase driving dynamic and range.

    But using Carbon fiber purely for range reasons is already irrational and will only get a worser deccision over time.
    Since the KW/$ is falling faster then CarbonFiberSQ/$

    Example:
    If it costs 5000$ to change some bodyparts from aluminum to Carbon fiber and drop x KG and therefore increase the range by y.
    Its trivial to calculate that at 250$/KW that 5000$ would alternatively mean 20KW bigger battery pack.
    Now I dont have al the data, but from my experience its impossible to save so much weight with only 5000$ worth of carbon fiber and gain so much range due to the weight loss to seriously consider it a better option then then bigger battery pack.

    So unless we see a magical price reduction in Carbon Fiber production we wont see it in everydays cars.
    We will see it how ever in the High-class segment as an option.
     
  7. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    Not for the next 5 years, but could happen with continued research in nanotech and carbon nanotubes in particular. Carbon in it self is cheap and available, even more so than steel or aluminum...
     
  8. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    I want my next vehicle to be made out of "solid smoke", carbon or otherwise. Now, that​ would be cool!
     
  9. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Requesting update to title to include modifier 'for Model 3' since Tesla has already built one cf vehicle, the Roadster. (I know, I know ... people forget.)
     
  10. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    I thought Tesla already said they were going to go with steel for the Model 3 instead of aluminum in order to keep the costs down.
     
  11. eepic

    eepic Member

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    Tesla said they wouldn't use a mostly aluminum design like the MS/MX due to cost for the Model 3. We and the media speculated they would use stainless steel in lieu.

    @bonnie - I decided not to add "for Model 3" at the end as we have no idea if it's for the main M3 chassis or just for general spoilers/trim... didn't want folks to get overexcited about the possibility. In my mind, barring a major cf manufacturing breakthrough, it's probably not an option given the cost optimization focus of the Model 3.
     
  12. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    The problem with titling a thread 'Tesla to consider Carbon Fiber' is that they already have considered (and used) carbon fiber. So it made no sense. It needs a modifier. Just asking that the title be descriptive enough that people know what it's about. Obviously Tesla is considering using it on something.
     
  13. eepic

    eepic Member

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    Fair 'nuff. Actually as a related question, did Tesla have to do much carbon fiber work (redesign or add net new panels) apart from the chassis they got from Lotus? Not as familiar with the pre-Model S days.
     
  14. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    Of course there's the other issue. Steel cars are expensive to repair, Aluminum cars are crazy expensive to repair, Carbon Fibre... well... no such thing as paintless dent repair here!
     
  15. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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    #15 RubberToe, Aug 14, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
    Then you would truly be rollin coal...

    But if it was clean coal, then you would have a see-thru Tesla.

    :smile:
     
  16. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    Heh heh.

    If any aren't aware of the reference, "solid smoke" also is called "frozen smoke", "solid air", "aerogel", and others; link here: Aerogel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. They are really​ neat substances, even if not ready for mainstream vehicle shells....
     
  17. Red Sage

    Red Sage The Cybernetic Samurai

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    Actually, it is only the cabin compartment or 'passenger cell' that is made of carbon fiber in the BMW i3. The rest of the vehicle is primarily aluminum, that surrounds the carbon fiber components (which form a sort of inner cocoon), and forms the rest of the frame.
     
  18. James Anders

    James Anders Member

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    No way would they use stainless steel. Extremely expensive when compared to regular steel that has been coated/protected.
     
  19. Zzzz...

    Zzzz... Member

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    I remember reading analytics/research that claimed that carbon fiber could be cheaper than steel at high volume of production. They were taking many factors into account like tooling to form steel parts, cost of CF production etc.

    Anyhow right or wrong, there is a chance or at least very educated opinion that car body produced using carbon fiber could be on par or even cheaper then steel car body.

    +100. Could not agree more: No way. Extremely expensive.
     

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