Carbon fiber heads to the mainstream
When it comes to the use carbon fiber in automobiles, the material is typically limited to racing cars or very expensive exotic sports cars. The material costs a lot to make and body panels constructed using the strong and very light material are very expensive. The upside to carbon fiber is it's very light weight. Ford and Dow have announced they are teaming up on a program to build low-cost and high-volume carbon fiber composites that can be used on production next-generation automobiles.
The two firms have signed a joint development agreement that would have them collaborating on several fronts to develop an economical source of automotive-grade carbon fiber and manufacturing methods for high volume production. The companies hope that these parts might be in use in vehicles by the end of the decade. The big benefit of carbon fiber for Ford is the reduced weight, which will help its electric vehicles drive further without having to increase the size of the batteries.