Steel manufacturers say their product must be used to maximise cars' green potential
13 May 2010

The next generation of electric cars will need specially designed steel bodies to maximise their green potential, according to the world’s biggest steel makers.

A new research project, the Future Steel Vehicle (FSV), is experimenting with redesigned structural parts in an electric car’s bodywork, including the sills, front crash structure, roof and battery carrier, to cut weight and save energy.

Engineers are also evaluating various steels to balance their strength in an EV body against the energy used in its manufacture. This will minimise the whole-life energy costs of an EV.

Previous steel industry projects have advanced the design of lightweight steel car bodies, doors and suspensions.

Join the debate

Comments
11

13 May 2010

Title of the article is simply misleading. It makes the reader think that some other materials were considered, but that's not the case. The emphasis here is "specially designed steel bodies" but the title does not reflect that.

13 May 2010

Yes its badly written in the magazine too.

It should convey the information that IF electric cars are made of steel, then they need to be made of specially designed steel bodies that are of reduced weight.

Electric cars dont need to be made of steel.

This is what happens when steel makers get worried.

13 May 2010

I would like to see the press releases of manufacturers of other materials before coming to a conclusion.

13 May 2010

If Colin Chapman were to design an electric car , he'd try to find a way to make the batteries into structural members, rather than dead-weight.

13 May 2010

Surely crashing an electric car with a steel body is just a horrible accident waiting to happen?

13 May 2010

[quote Simon_667]Surely crashing an electric car with a steel body is just a horrible accident waiting to happen?
[/quote]

Surely crashing an electric car with a steel body is a horrible accident actually happening? ;)

13 May 2010

What is not clear is why specifically electric cars need these special steel bodies. If it's a weight issue, all cars benefit from a light body. Do they need to consider the inertia of the battery pack in an accident?

 

13 May 2010

Since plastic is cheaper than steel, I've never understood why manufacturers haven't switched. The Land Rover Defender is an ideal candidate for a plastic body. It has ALL its strength in its chassis (in fact, the upper body is useless in a rollover, and that's why many have roll cages). I would have thought that there's great appeal in a lightweight, galvanised, spaceframe chassis with plastic panels. Crikey, the thing would go on forever! Put electric motors in each wheel hub and the batteries within the frame of the chassis and you surely have the perfect 4x4 motor car?

13 May 2010

[quote golfman]Since plastic is cheaper than steel, [/quote]

Plastics used in packaging are indeed fairly cheap, in volume, not of course weight compared to steel. The problem is that high quality engineering plastics are not cheap. You could have external body panels, mounted on a metal frame for strength, made of cheaper plastics but the finish would not match a metal bodied car. Plastics of course are made from oil so the enviromentalists hate them as much or more than metals especially due to recycling problems.

13 May 2010

[quote disco.stu]

[quote Simon_667]Surely crashing an electric car with a steel body is just a horrible accident waiting to happen?
[/quote]

Surely crashing an electric car with a steel body is a horrible accident actually happening? ;)

[/quote]

It is... and don't call me Surely

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK