Reducing the weight of conventional, internal combustion engine (ICE) powered
cars has been subject of RTD for decades. From this RTD it has become clear
that no single material category offers the optimal performance throughout the
vehicle, 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 materials1.
Even though, evidently, many of the materials, designs and structures used in ICE vehicles can also be applied
to fully Electric Vehicles (EVs), key differences exist between both types of vehicles which have their impact
on the optimal approach to minimizing weight while also pursuing other key performance targets with regard to
cost, manufacturability, crashworthiness, and static / dynamic structural behaviour and integrity. Since the
design constraints are also radically different, next generation fully electric vehicles will offer new types
of vehicle architectures with different weight
distributions; in particular, the key components (eg. electric motors and battery packs)
can be located differently with respect to ICE-powered and Hybrid vehicles (eg. front engine
plus gas tank in ICE vs. one or more small electric motors plus a possibly distributed battery
pack in EVs). Correspondingly EVs are also likely to have different crash energy dissipation load paths.
ALIVE - SEAM
The ALIVE project is co-funded by the European Community's 7th Framework Programme.