According to a report, the MAI Carbon Cluster Management GmbH, a research effort that is supported by the German government recently made progress in reducing costs in carbon fiber production by up to 90%.
Normally reserved for making race cars or top of the line road cars, carbon fiber production may become the new standard material in car production in the near future.
Leading the USD 102 million-project is Klaus Drechler who also stated that they have reached a halfway point on their cost-cutting target for suitable carbon-fiber components. In its raw form, carbon-fiber costs as much as USD 20 per kilogram while steel costs less than USD 1 according to Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, a consulting firm based in Munich, Germany.
“The key is to really drive automation in production . There are different scenarios about how carmakers can use carbon fiber -- extensively like BMW, with a carbon-fiber chassis, or with smaller components,"" said Drechler to Automotive News.
German automakers BMW and Audi are among the 70 companies that are currently backing the MAI project. Other companies included are Airbus Group NV, Siemens and SGL Carbon. SGL Carbon itself has a joint-venture with BMW in producing the carbon-fiber frame used on German automaker's i3 electric city car and i8 hybrid sports car.
News Source: Automotive News Europe