Polestar 1 Crash Tested in Sweden
This is the carbon fiber body of the Polestar 1, a low-volume hybrid that provides 600 hp and, perhaps so as to be a good global citizen, an electric-only range of 93 miles. It is going to be produced by Volvo spin-off Polestar in a brand-new, purpose-built factory in Chengdu, China.
Like any car under development, the Polestar 1 is being subjected to crash tests. What makes this a little different is that Volvo, a company that is almost obsessive (in a good way) about vehicular safety, has never crash tested carbon fiber-reinforced polymer body vehicles. They’re familiar with the crash energy management of steel: crumple zones crumple such that the energy is reduced before it gets to the passenger cabin. Carbon fiber, on the other hand, doesn’t crumple.
It cracks and shatters.
The Polestar 1 does, however, have a steel underbody structure along with the carbon fiber.
During the test, the vehicle was propelled into a stationary barrier at 34.8 mph in the Volvo Cars Safety Center in Gothenburg, Sweden.
According to Zef van der Putten, responsible for carbon fiber at Polestar, “The outcome of this first crash test validates the decision to build the body of Polestar 1 in carbon fiber. It also confirms that carbon fiber supports the highest safety standards.”
Which is one of the things that Volvo—and Polestar, by extension—is all about.
The engineers at Zenos Cars have combined recycled carbon fiber, drinking straws and aluminum to create a chassis for a low-volume sports car.
Automotive manufacturers are meeting CAFE fuel-efficiency standards through lightweighting, which requires simulation software for design engineers.
I'm not talking about a plastic Revell model of a '57 Chevy, but a real vehicle, one that rolls off an assembly line in 1999 with another 99,999 just like it right behind. Is it possible, or is this just a fantasy of the marketing department at Elmer's?