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use of CFRP in future BEVs?

Discussion in 'Future Cars' started by Rebel44, May 10, 2014.

  1. Rebel44

    Rebel44 Member

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    What do you think about possibility of replacing most of aluminium in parts of future BEVs with CFRP (Carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer)?

    While I dont have much data about potential price difference, from technical point of view use of CFRP would make sence - its strong, lightweight material that is much less vulnerable to damage compared to aluminium.
     
  2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    Cost.
     
  3. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Since the i3 and i8 are already doing that seems like a strong possibility. I don't know of any other EVs using aluminum heavily other than the Model S and Model X. Maybe it's something they'll consider down the road if the price is worthwhile.
     
  4. Rebel44

    Rebel44 Member

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    But how big is cost difference and how fast will it go down? Aluminium is also relatively high cost material.

    While its not likely at this moment, I would expect that for successor of Model S it might be reallistic.
     
  5. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    I guess it depends on how expensive all the equipment is and how hard it is to deal with. Tesla will be very good with dealing with aluminum and battery packs should give enough range that maybe the weight difference won't be as critical. Anyone able to guess how much the Model S would weigh using CFRP instead of aluminum and how much the range would increase?
    Maybe we will see it incorporated into the Gen III vehicle but probably not is my guess.
     
  6. DrDave

    DrDave Member

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    Maybe that's part of delay on Model X, they are trying to incorporate some plastic/cfrp into the body.
     
  7. trils0n

    trils0n 2013 P85

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    I hope they do something for Gen III to keep the weight down. In general, lighter cars handle/drive better and lower weight will improve efficiency. Model S would be an even better car if it was 500+ lbs lighter.
     
  8. RobStark

    RobStark Active Member

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    i3 and i8 use aluminum frames with carbon fiber bodies.

    Aluminum is easier to fix, in almost every case damaged carbon fiber is replaced.

    Carbon fiber catches on fire and burns to nothing. Paul Walker's Porsche had a mostly carbon fiber underbody.

    paul-walker-car.jpg
     
  9. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I wonder what BMW's profit margins are on the i3 and i8. I suspect very small.

    To me the i3 (without the ReX) is a compliance EV that BMW is probably subsidizing, and the i8 is simply a halo car.

    I wish BMW the best of luck with their CFRP technology. But as Rob notes, repair costs are likely to be high. At this point production costs certainly are. Maybe over time BMW can drive down production costs if the i3 or the future i5 is a success.
     
  10. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    There's definitely room for development, but the results I feel from an efficiency standpoint isn't that impressive (at least for the i3 segment). The i3 basically has the same range as other competitors and its efficiency is only slightly better than the Spark EV (which was a compliance car conversion using a conventional steel body, not even aluminum).

    However, if they can get the cost down to the same or less than aluminum, I don't see why it can't be an option.
     
  11. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    That's a great theory, but it seems to me that nobody ever "fixes" anything anyway, it's all remove and replace. I'm dealing with an insurance claim right now for a roof dent in my existing (steel) vehicle, and the shop glanced at it and immediately said they'd need a new roof panel. My wife hit the tire on the back of an SUV and dented her hood, shop replaced the hood, I've had similar experiences when I was t-boned in my work truck, new door.

    There are definite cost dis-advantages to carbon fibre, but I'm not sure I really buy the bit about repairing metal cars, sure places used to do that, but it just doesn't seem to be the case any more.
     

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