Reducing the weight of conventional, internal combustion engine (ICE) powered cars has been the subject of research & technology development (RTD) for decades. From this RTD it has become clear that no single material category offers the optimal performance throughout the vehicles life, which was one of the key conclusions that led to the SuperLightCar multi-material approach. Thus the global car industry is working towards a multi-material future of growing complexity, especially as regards highly local material characteristics (tailored differently in different zones within a single part) and in terms of joining a range of materials.
The ALIVE Project is working towards developing light-weight materials for use in future electric vehicles.
The key objective is to achieve affordable solutions for vehicle weight reduction (around € 15k selling price excluding battery or € 20-25k including battery) targeting a further 20 % weight reduction of the Body-in-White (BiW) compared to the 30 % weight reduction already demonstrated in recent EU funded RTD projects, with respect to benchmark state-of-the–art electric vehicles recently introduced to the market, while also achieving substantial weight savings with the hang-on parts, chassis and main interior sub-systems.
The ALIVE main approach is to combine innovation-driving advances beyond the state-of-the-art as regardseconomically-viable, high-volume manufacturing of lightweight components introducing innovation in the assembly process (ie. joining technologies) and testing and simulation capabilities by developing a holistic environment for production, usage and crashworthiness assessment, combined within a full vehicle Design Research approach where all these building blocks are integrated into an innovative design solution. Through this interaction between advanced design and materials & manufacturing research presented in the ALIVE Project, both disciplines will be developed to a degree which will be demonstrated through the realization of a highly innovative vehicle incorporating highly advanced materials and their respective manufacturing technologies in a real context. Thus the dialogue between design and materials/manufacturing research will be developed both through the virtual (simulation) and the experimental (testing & validation) platform. By running in parallel, both testing and simulation capabilities will advance.