In the race for cheaper carbon fibre, the company backed by Germany’s federal government, businesses and research institutes, says it is making good progress towards reducing carbon costs by around 90%
Exactly how MAI will cheapen carbon fibre hasn’t been made clear just yet, but the $102 million project has been backed by some very big players in the market, including carbon fibre manufacturer SGL Carbon, Audi and Airbus.
Klaus Drechsler, head of the project told Bloomberg;
We’ve certainly reached a halfway point on our cost-cutting target for suitable carbon fibre parts and we’ll see a lot more carbon-fibre use in the next generation of cars. The key is to really drive automation, there are different scenarios about how carmakers can use carbon fibre, extensively like BMW, with a carbon-fibre chassis, or with smaller components.
BMW began rolling out its i3 almost a year ago in November and has sold over 10,000 in the first 9 months of sales. Speaking earlier in the year at the Paris motor show they said that the technology is very, very economical and has been rumoured to be used in other BMW models like the high-end 7 series sedan.
Similar research efforts are under way at Oak Ridge Carbon Fibre Composites Consortium, based in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, with partners including Ford and Dow Chemical.