Reuters: Tesla weighing carbon fiber

Tesla naysayers often point to BMW as a big bad bully, with lots of money and carbon fiber in its new i-series cars. Well, Tesla might be looking at carbon fiber also, according to Reuters. An “industry source” says South Korea’s GS Caltex plans a sit-down with Tesla. Nobody will talk openly about it.

Carbon fiber makes sense in the context of high-end EVs, cutting weight by about 50 percent with no compromise in crashworthiness. The i3 weighs about 1,000 lbs less than the Chevy Volt, partly due to carbon fiber. The material is expensive, but when has Tesla shied away from expensive stuff? Back when the company was young, it could have gone for a cheap battery solution for a cheap EV like other half-assed players. But instead of scrimping, it sought to produce the highest-performance EV anyone dared imagine, and priced the car accordingly. So the Roadster was born, and EVs became sexy overnight. Scrimping isn’t a Tesla habit.

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4 thoughts on “Reuters: Tesla weighing carbon fiber

  1. Jouni Valkonen says:

    Good observation. People often think that Tesla III will be a car for the masses, but actually its main competitor will be Audi A4 Quattro that is a premium AWD car for upper middle class. Therefore I have presented as a wild card that Model III will be using carbonfiber, but probably Tesla’s carbonfiber tech is not yet ready by 2016 when the first production model of III should be ready — and high volume production in 2017.

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  2. ddines says:

    One thing to watch (and which is often not well understood by the press) is that there is a fair amount of research in reducing the cost of CF and developing methods for mass production methods (see for example http://www.rmi.org). The upshot is that the cost curve of the manufactured item is approaching parity with steel and should take about 5 years. The exciting thing about having Tesla get into this aspect of production is the prospect of accelerating the development curve like they did with batteries.

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  3. Gaston says:

    The i3 weighs about 1,000 lbs less than the Chevy Volt? Not true

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  4. Gaston says:

    I’m sorry. It is true. I read Chevy Spark.

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