Now, look forward to lighter cars

Sydney, June 19 (IANS) Mass produced cars are set to become lighter as an Australian company begins development of carbon fibre automotive parts.

Sydney-based advanced manufacturing and Australian Stock Exchange (ASX)-listed company Quickstep Holdings, which makes carbon fibre composites for the aerospace and defence industries, announced on Friday it would establish a dedicated automotive research division at Australia’s Deakin University following the award of an A$1.76-million (US$1.37 million) grant.

Australian media reported that demand for carbon fibre composites is forecast to rise by about 23 percent per year across all industry sectors as governments around the world, including China and the US, seek to reduce carbon emissions.

The automotive sector itself is forecast to grow worldwide by 50 percent per annum to 2020.

Quickstep manager-director David Marino told the media he expected carbon fibre composites to be used in mass produced cars that cost between A$30,000 and A$40,000, Xinhua news agency reported.

“They (consumers) are seeing it on the planes they fly on and in the more advanced cars, but it will come downstream,” Marino said.

Quickstep Holdings supplies parts to Northrop Grumman for use in the production of Australia’s next generation military combat aircraft, the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, and to Lockheed Martin for production of the C-130J Super Hercules military transport aircraft.

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