Magna International and Ford have developed a prototype carbon fiber composite subframe that reduces mass by 34 percent compared to making a stamped steel equivalent. This lightweight subframe will help reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiency, helping automakers meet federal clean car standards.
The cabon fiber subframe also replaces 45 steel parts with two molded and four metallic parts, thus achieving an 87 percent reduction in the number of parts. The moldings are joined by adhesive bonding and structural rivets.
The prototype subframes are now being produced by Magna for component and vehicle-level testing at Ford.
The Magna announcement comes as Ford is expanding its Advanced Fuel Qualified Vehicle Modifier (QVM) program to include companies that develop and install electrified and hydraulic hybrid powertrains for Ford trucks and vans. This program helps fleet and commercial customers reduce emissions with electric work trucks while retaining the original powertrain warranty.
The eQVM program kicks off with three developers: XL Hybrids, Motiv Power Systems and Lightning Hybrids. These companies offer electrification or hydraulic hybrid solutions for a range of Ford vehicles popular with fleet and commercial customers, including F-150, F-250 to F-550 Super Duty, F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks, Transit and E-Series vans and chassis, and F-53/F-59 stripped chassis.
This announcement is in addition to Ford’s earlier pledge to invest $4.5 billion in 13 new electrified vehicles in the next five years.
In other clean fleet news SEAT and Aqualia say they have developed an alternative fuel for cars by turning wastwater into biomethane. The biofuel emits 80 percent less CO2 than petrol and can be used in compressed natural gas (CNG) fueled vehicles.