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Lightweight Construction

Ultralight fuel cell car enters test phase

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) has developed a small car with an ultra-light body. The vehicle with a fuel cell is intended primarily for commuters and is currently undergoing initial crash tests.

13 Sep. 2018
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Ultralight fuel cell car enters test phase (Photo: German Aerospace Center)

The Safe Light Regional Vehicle (SLRV) was developed as part of the Next Generation Car (NGC) project. It combines several modern technologies, such as ultralight construction and a fuel cell drive, which, according to DLR, has a range of around 400 km. The compact car is intended primarily for commuters and shuttle services that drive to the city from the surrounding area or serve customers in the vicinity of the cities.

The car's ultra-light body weighs only 80 kg, while its low and elongated shape keep air resistance and thus energy consumption low. Sandwich construction featuring a metal cover layer with plastic foam on the inside keep its weight down, while further sandwich panels at the front and rear act as crumple zones. The tub-shaped passenger compartment topped off with a ring structure protects occupants in the event of an impact.

The Institute of Vehicle Concepts in Stuttgart is currently testing two prototypes of the small car in its crash facility. The results will subsequently be compared with the previously calculated simulations to gradually improve the body shell.