RMI is committed to mapping and driving a transition to fossil-fuel-free U.S. transportation by 2050. Cars alone account for half of all U.S. oil use. Making cars lighter is the single most effective and widely impactful lever by which to dramatically and immediately improve their fuel efficiency, regardless of vehicle type, size, fuel, or powertrain technology. Most importantly, lighter cars pave the way to an oil-and emissions-free transportation era because they can be cost-effectively electrified thanks to smaller, lighter, more efficient powertrains, including fewer batteries.
Download the Autcomposites Pre-Read (4.7 mb) | Download the Workshop Report (12 mb)
Reduced oil dependence, reduced emissions, growth of a new manufacturing industry, jobs, CAFE compliance, global competitiveness, security and environmental stewardship.
Material and manufacturing cost must be reduced to move beyond niche markets and ultimately enable carbon-fiber-intensive mainstream vehicles. Other enablers include enhancing understanding of the material, improving predictive modeling tools, and addressing repair and recycling challenges.
While much of the auto industry recognizes the potential of carbon fiber composite, we need a feasible means of transitioning to high-volume manufacturing. Identifying and enabling promising pathways to this transition was the focus of the Autocomposites Workshop, held in Troy, MI, November 7-9.
- Carbon Fiber Producers
- Resin System Suppliers
- Tooling Manufacturers
- Tier 1 Suppliers
- Automotive OEMs
- The Department of Energy
- Oak Ridge National Laboratory
- Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) tool providers
- Decision makers from professional consortiums
- Automotive industry experts and consultants
Through facilitated and focused problem-solving sessions, workshop participants:
- Developed a consensus view around the barriers to scale adoption and necessary near-term efforts to overcome those barriers
- Identified several promising part candidates that have a compelling near-term value proposition and have potential to spur scale adoption of automotive carbon fiber composites.
- Identified several collaborative, noncompetitive programs for spurring widespread adoption of automotive carbon fiber composites.
RMI is committed to working with industry stakeholders to carry the insights and actions identified at the Autocomposites Workshop forward to implementation. Workshop participants identified two potential programs for doing so:
- A Parts Campaign focused on incorporating an automotive carbon fiber composite part on a mainstream vehicle
- An Innovation Hub focused on centralizing and coordinating research and development, demonstrating new processes, and catalyzing continued collaborative progress in this nascent industry
Contact Greg Rucks for questions about RMI's Autocomposites Project.