According to MAI Carbon Cluster Management GmbH, a partner with BMW, the costs of carbon fibre production could drop by up to 90 per cent thanks to an ongoing research effort in collaboration with the German federal government.
The $102 million project is being backed by over 70 large companies, including BMW and Audi, and should play a key role in ensuring the next-generation of road cars can make use of carbon fibre.
BMW i8 Production
While recently speaking with Automotive News, head of the project Klaus Drechsler said, “We’ve certainly reached a halfway point on our cost-cutting target for suitable carbon-fiber parts. We’ll see a lot more carbon-fiber use in the next generation of cars.”
Until recently, one kilogram of carbon fibre cost up to $20. By comparison, steel costs less than $1 per kilogram.
“The key is to really drive automation [in production]” said Drechsler. “There are different scenarios about how carmakers can use carbon fiber — extensively like BMW, with a carbon-fiber chassis, or with smaller components.”
[Via Automotive News]