Report | 1995

Ultralight Hybrid Vehicle Design: Overcoming the Barriers to Using Advanced Composites in the Automotive Industry

By Michael Brylawski

This paper describes the many diverse and important barriers that inhibit automakers’ adoption of advanced composite materials. The authors argue that a strategy to produce an all advanced composite body-in-white commercially could be the best method to overcome these barriers. This paper summarizes the ultralight, hybrid electric Hypercar concept, emphasizing why mass optimization is crucial to its design. The authors summarize potentially applicable high volume advanced composite technologies; recount studies of the main barriers to structural composites use in the body-in-white; explain why a whole-system approach is the best way to conquer the barriers and create new opportunities; and explore the barrier or manufacturing costs to show how a whole-system approach can circumvent it.