Carbon fiber is the most used material to help save weight in today’s industry, especially in the car manufacturing one. A lighter car makes for better fuel economy and fewer emissions which is a great thing in the market nowadays where fuel economy has a bigger and bigger impact on models with the rising price of oil, and fewer emissions look good on any car’s spec sheet especially for the clients who want to really make a difference on the environment.
But carbon fiber unfortunately has a high cost of production, such is the case that it is widely used on high-end cars, BMW implementing carbon fiber roofs for their top end performance M branded models like the M3 or M5, other supercars benefiting from this composite material are Nissan’s GT-R or GM’s ZR1. This high cost of production has prompted several Japanese firms like Toray Industries and Mitsubishi Rayon to work closely with car manufacturers like Nissan or Honda to develop cheaper ways of production thus making it more available for all car makers and helping the whole industry develop better and lighter cars.
This project wasn’t left to chance by the Japanese government, which, according to Nikkei, will provide over the next five years about $20 million. The goal of this project ? By 2010 the mass production of this material will make cars lighter by 40%.