Washington: Volvo is experimenting with a new composite material that can store and release energy more quickly than a convention lithium-ion cell and, it says, might one day replace steel for making auto body panels.
Being developed by a consortium of nine European companies and organizations, the car would have material composed of carbon fibers and polymer resin, reports Discovery News.
It is said to be both strong and pliant, meaning it can be shaped as necessary--which could allow it to replace steel panels on future cars, lightening the body structure to improve overall efficiency.
The project``s ultimate goal is to replace a test vehicle``s steel spare-wheel well stamping with a similar piece made of the new material.
Replacing the car``s steel body panels by the lighter material alone could cut the weight of the vehicle by 15 percent.
Volvo will build 50 of its C30 hatchbacks converted to battery power, offering up to 90 miles of range, but does not intend to test them in the United States market.