AUTOMOTIVE & ELECTRIC VEHICLES
Helicoid™ composite laminates allow significant weight and cost savings due to the reduced use of raw materials while enhancing impact resistance. Lighter weight EV components/parts and overall reduced vehicle weight results in cost savings and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Helicoid™ parts can be produced at high-rates with additive manufacturing (AFP/ATL), reducing up to 90% material waste generated during production of conventional multi-directional laminates.
The global number of passenger vehicles is forecasted to rise from 1,102 million in 2017 to 1,980 million by 2040 , with the transportation sector responsible for about 23% of total global CO2 emissions and road transportation contributing about 72% within that sector . Reducing emissions and dependence on petroleum-based solutions has been the focus of the US Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technology Office. Due to stringent government regulations such as CAFÉ standards of 54.5 mpg by 2025, reducing structural weight of vehicles becomes crucial to achieve such challenging objectives. A 10% reduction in vehicle weight can result in a 6% - 8% fuel economy improvement. Each 1kg weight saved corresponds ~0.13km range increase, which helps promote further adoption of EV vehicles. Structural weight reductions lead to higher energy density, allow for larger battery-packs and hence extends the range of electric vehicles.
Electrification is currently responsible for one of the biggest shifts ever to occur in the automotive industry. The transition from traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to electric vehicles (EVs) is driven by a range of factors, including environmental concerns, government regulations, and advances in technology. As a result, the auto industry is aggressively developing more sustainable materials that reduce the environmental impact and complete lifecycle footprint of their vehicles.
Most of materials used as automotive structural components for both electric and non-electric vehicles broadly fall into one of two categories 1) low cost / high weight, or 2) high cost / low weight. These design tradeoffs provide automotive OEMs and their suppliers with few options to achieve their ultimate goal which would be low cost / low weight materials.
Utilizing Helicoid™ laminates and preform parts in components for automobiles will save weight and further lower CO2 emissions by providing a material architecture that provides equal or superior resistance to impacts, crash and fatigue thus lowering the amount of raw materials required to produce the part.
Helicoid™ Industries is working with several Tier 1 suppliers in the automotive sector to develop Helicoid™ material solutions for various components and parts. Helicoid™ is currently being deployed for Electric Vehicle (EV) underbody battery pack protection (or baseplate) systems made of glass-fiber composites. The solution leverages digital engineering, unconventional layup scenarios, biomimicry, advanced multiaxial intelligent weaving, and automated manufacturing to deliver a durable, low-cost, highly engineered automotive part for the commercial and consumer automotive markets. Test results showed that Helicoid™ achieves; 1) +25% higher load-bearing capability under impact (350J); and 2) -20% lower maximum deflection compared to the current commercial solution (at equal weight). Helicoid™ laminates reduced or avoided entirely the occurrence of fiber failure and the laminate retained high structural integrity.
Furthermore, Helicoid™ technology has demonstrated a near doubling the impact fatigue life of a carbon fiber/polypropylene structure compared to a conventional layup. Thus, highlighting the capability of delivering longer use and high durability solutions.
Hydrogen Powered transportation – Material cost per kg: ~$37
~10% reduced time to manufacture (ass. 10m/min)
Improved safety margins from 2.25 to 2.15
Carbon fibre cost: ~$2,198
Production volume: 500,000/year
Material Cost Savings $176 / part à $88M / year
Automotive EV Battery Enclosure – Material cost per kg: $3
Up to 26% lighter
>30% reduction in manufacturing steps
Part Production Cost: $300 - $500
material cost reduced to ~60%
manufacturing cost reduced by ~40%
Production volume: 10ktons in 5 years
Production Cost Savings $63-$105 / part
Helicoid™ Sustainable Enclosure:
Up to 80% made with natural fibers (flax) / 20% Glass
(Flax $1.50 / kg. Glass $3 / kg)
Cost Savings ~$27 / part