The automotive industry is dividing enthusiasts and managers within it. There’s a constant debate about emissions, new electric vehicles (EV) and efforts towards sustainability. Although, at the same time there is a growing interest in low-volume, bespoke performance cars built for the automotive collector, which are often based on classic designs.
At DEXET Technologies we’re responsible for everything from F1 design and engineering through to wheelchairs, so we thought we would investigate today’s environment within the motoring industry. We’ll look at the divide between sustainability, mobility, restomod, hypercar and collector cars, and how composites and advanced engineering methods are linked to both.
Sustainable manufacturing and material usage is now a core focus for almost every automotive manufacturer in the market. Polestar, the hybrid and EV-focused offshoot of Volvo, announced it is now working in conjunction with Bcomp, a “natural fibre composite innovator.” Based in the Swedish city of Fribourg, Bcomp has been producing sustainable materials for over a decade for various applications, using organic fibres as a base. One example of their composites, named ampliTexTM, is featured on the Polestar Precept and is made from woven flax fibres. This reduces overall weight and vibrations when used in vehicle interiors; less weight equals more range, whether that’s via internal combustion engines or EV batteries.
The automotive sector is not the only area this applies to; personal mobility solutions such as wheelchairs are also part of this material development journey. In fact, DEXET Technologies is helping to develop a revolutionary new wheelchair, which aims solve problems encountered by wheelchair users today. The Revolve Air, a project by designer Andrea Mocellin, Revolve Wheel, is a foldable wheelchair which can fit into the overhead storage compartment of any passenger aircraft. This functionality is estimated to save the user up to three hours during a single flight, as standard wheelchairs must be stowed below the flight deck. Revolve Wheel established a partnership with us at DEXET Technologies, tasking us with initially prototyping the Revolve Air for low-volume production, using composite materials for a lightweight yet strong mobility solution. We’ll be revealing more about this exciting new wheelchair project over the coming months, including the first working prototypes.
However, on the other side of the industry, we see composites being used in niche performance and collector vehicles, produced in low-volume and utilising advanced technology. This is especially apparent now, with restomods such as the Alfaholics GTA-R 290, the Kimera Automobili EVO37 or the famous Singer Dynamics and Lightweighting Study. All these modern interpretations of classic designs utilise composite panels and bespoke carbon fibre components to reduce weight, increase strength and allow for extra performance.
The similarities between sustainable mobility solutions and the ever-growing collector restomod market is extremely interesting to us at DEXET Technologies. As composite engineering consultants, we’re currently developing a range of projects using composite materials and efficient manufacturing methods that we can’t wait to share with you as the year progresses. Stay tuned to find out which events our London-based team will be attending next, and where we’ll be announcing some exciting mobility, motorsport, hypercar and restomod technical partnerships.
Francesco and the team at DEXET Technologies