JEC showcase: Fuel cell cars go heavy on lightweight construction
At the JEC Europe showcase, held in Paris and dedicated to composites, lightweight construction in the automotive industry is one of the major topics. OEMs and suppliers come to show materials and processes enabling cars to comply with CO2 régulation, while offering the same level of safety.
This year, fuel cell cars have stolen the show.
Hyundai received an innovation award for the Intrado concept. This next-gen hydrogen car (displayed one year ago at Geneva Motor show) has a body in CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic). This helps to save 50 % of the overall weight, compared to a conventional structure with steel.
Toyota has been acclaimed too. An expert from the japanese OEM made a keynote on the Mirai, the first model serie powered by a fuel cell. Nobuya Kawamura revealed that CFRP was used for the hydrogen tanks. Carbon fiber is used as well to protect the stack of the fuel cell, located in the understructure of the body. Thanks to composite panels, Toyota saves 11 kg and gives additional safety in case of shock