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New Study Says Composites Make Sense for Hybrid Electric Vehicles

SpecialChem / May 1, 2008

A newly published study by the Automotive Composites Alliance (ACA), a division of the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA), says that composites make better sense for hybrid-electric vehicles than steel or aluminum. This is because no competitive material/process combination offers more possibilities to reduce weight, lower tooling investment and part costs, and provide opportunities for parts consolidation and reduction or elimination of secondary-finishing operations. The study's authors believe composites are especially well-suited for hybrids, where every kilogram of weight saved conserves batteries for longer driving ranges and improves fuel economy. Additionally, the tooling and part savings possible with composites are particularly attractive for low-to-mid volume vehicle builds and can help offset the higher costs of hybrid vehicles' dual battery-storage systems and liquid-fuel engines.A vehicle's floor pan is a large structure (typically 3.7-4.2 m2/40-45 ft2) that stretches from front cowl to rear axle.

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