Welcome to the Energy Blog

  • The Energy Blog is where all topics relating to The Energy Revolution are presented. Increasingly, expensive oil, coal and global warming are causing an energy revolution by requiring fossil fuels to be supplemented by alternative energy sources and by requiring changes in lifestyle. Please contact me with your comments and questions. Further Information about me can be found HERE.



After Gutenberg

Clean Break

The Oil Drum


Blog powered by Typepad

« GM May Make 60,000 `Volt' Electric Cars in First Year | Main | Sprinter Plug-in to Get JCS Li-ion Batteries »

August 24, 2007


Adam Galas

Hurray for Toray!

If a car we optimized for weight savings, meaning 100% carbon fiber, (which can be made 10X stronger than steel, so is safer as well) as well as useing advanced lightweight plastics for the seats and an engine made of ceramic composits, then a vehicle like the volt could be made at a weight of 1600 lbs, or 50% less than the current design.

This would slash the watt hours/mile from 200 to 100 and double the range to 80 miles.

Consider this as well, regarding the volt, if they dumped the engine which weighs probably close to 200 lbs or so, and replaced it with batteries, then they could pack a total of 600 lbs worth of A123's wonderous LiFePO4s in the car.

This could hold 31.36 Kwh of energy, which would give this super light volt a range of 313.6 miles!

Of course, such weight savings, when combined with super aerodyanmic body shapes, could also do wonders on ICE cars.

For example, a prius, with a sleaker body, meaning CoD of .2, that was given maximum weight savings, would weigh about 1500 lbs, and could make due with a .5 liter turbo-diesel engine.

Such a vehicle would get 150 mpg easily, and that is a stardard hybrid model, not a PHEV.

Make it a plug in, with 80 miles in pure electric mode and you have an America that is free from oil imports forever.


I'd sure like to know more about this process. Even the press release says nothing about it, other than it exists.


==resulting in a 4-5 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency.==

I don't see what the big deal is about this...


The 4% savings for a 20 miles per gallon car, which travels 17,000 miles per year, using $3 per gallon fuel would be about $100 savings per year in fuel. Therefore, if you keep the car 5 years you could pay an extra $500 for a lighter car and break even. Not very much of an incentive here for one car.

But then, for the USA, the 4% savings in automobile fuel use would yield about 6 billion gallons per year reduction in fuel. As they say, a billion here, a billion there and pretty soon you have a lot of fuel.

They predict this lightweight material can be cost competitive with steel if manufacturing processes and quantities improve. So there is potential. Interesting.


Adam, are you sure that cutting the weight in half results in double mileage? Even a helium balloon (zero weight) would require energy to move through the air at 50 mph. Then there is acceleration and de-acceleration losses, bearing friction, etc.

However, even if it is not double the mileage, it is going in the right direction. JohnBo


Now, if CO2 could somehow be turned into carbon fiber...


Sounds a lot like Fiberforge. Direct competition? IP issues? Will be interesting to watch this unfold.


You would not double your mileage, at least not on the highway were aerodynamic drag is the largest loss not acceleration or deceleration.

4-5% saving here and 4-5% savings there can add up. This is just one technology.

Ditto i would like some reall information on the process and what makes it special or cheap enough to use in cars.

Also how does this stuff repair after accidents?


Has anyone one seen anything on cncing a engine from a block of carbon fiber? One would
think with the weight you could turn some
serious RPM's!!

Electronic Product Development

Technisys can provide product development for a range of design requirements, its includes 3D modeling, research and feasibility estimates, electromechanical drawings, cable configurations & circuit design

The comments to this entry are closed.

. .

Batteries/Hybrid Vehicles